The campaign will launch in print in the May issue.


Better Homes and Gardens is trying to capture the young and social media savvy through a new online and print campaign that encourages readers to interact with the magazine. The goal is to get users who want to post their accomplishments with the hashtag #BHGFirsts.

“It’s a space to celebrate the idea of showing off a little bit because you are doing something for the first time — whether it is throwing a cocktail party or growing a tomato,” editor in chief Stephen Orr explained.

Other examples cited of first-time projects that readers may want to crow about are tiling a backsplash or making a soufflé. Orr says that when he cooks something for the first time, he likes sharing it himself — his sister calls this tendency the “Orr sharing gene.”

The 95-year-old magazine, which is owned by the Des Moines-based Meredith Corp., has an enviable circulation. Total paid and verified circulation for the title averaged 7.5 million for the six months ending in December 2016, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

And while Better Homes and Gardens may be in a better position than most magazine brands, it still needs to capture new readers.

“Like a lot of brands that have history, we are always trying to reach next-generation consumers — not just Millennials, but anyone who is Millennial minded,” Orr said.

As part of the campaign, the magazine has pledged that for every share on Instagram that uses the hashtag, it will donate a dollar to Habitat for Humanity. Millennials (or the Millennial-minded) are known to be fans of doing things for the social good.

According to Orr, the campaign fits in with the original mission of Better Homes and Gardens, which began in 1922 as a magazine to help newlyweds make their home for the first time.

“All the lessons are the same, but now we are adding layers like technology and social media,” he said

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