The recent issue of Country Life, guest edited by HRH the Prince of Wales to celebrate his 65th birthday, has broken the brand’s advertising and sales records, becoming the best-selling issue in Country Life’s 116 years. Covered today by PR Week.
The commemorative edition of the magazine, published on 13 November, featured content chosen by The Prince and was the first time he has edited a national publication.
Country Life editor Mark Hedges and his editorial team were invited to cover The Prince's work with rural communities, reflecting his exceptional knowledge of farming and his passion and vision to safeguard the future of the countryside.
The 244-page special edition had more than three times the normal amount of advertising for a similar issue at the same time of year and became the only issue in which advertisers had to be turned away, such was the demand.
Four Communications director Marion Hardman advised Country Life editor Mark Hedges on PR for the royal issue, working with Anna Gurr, PR manager at IPC Media, on a campaign that produced global coverage. The commemorative issue caught the imagination of the media, with global coverage on TV, radio, print and online on the pictures, stories and features selected by the royal guest editor. The PR value on UK coverage alone exceeded £5.5million.
Editor Mark Hedges says: "You ask some chap you met at a party to have a go at guest editing your magazine and the next thing you know is it has become the biggest seller in our 116-year history!"
The cover of the special edition featured gold foil blocking and embossing and a new photograph of The Prince of Wales photographed at Birkhall, Their Royal Highnesses Scottish home on the Balmoral Estate.