Country Living's July/August 'Water' Issue.


Hearst Magazines is developing a new platform to connect charitable partners and its readers in a business-led initiative.

Called “Hearst for Humanity,” the initiative is an integrated, cobranded campaign promoted across print, digital and social content. Each magazine will promote a cause and work with a charity for a single-themed issue. Readers will be directed to CrowdRise, an online platform dedicated to charitable fund-raising to make donations, for instance.

Country Living kicked off this initiative in its July/ August “Water Issue,” which is on newsstands on June 20. Working with The Nature Conservancy and their Canadian affiliate TNC Canada, the issue drives awareness for clean water initiatives.

Marie Claire will be the next Hearst title to take part in the initiative for its August issue fronted by actress Jessica Biel. The issue, which goes on sale on  July 18, delves into sustainable fashion via a partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Sister titles Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day and Elle are slated to roll out issues on sustainability and women’s health this year.

According to Marie Claire editor in chief Anne Fulenwider, the initiative is in sync with her magazine’s DNA. The women’s magazine often promotes socially conscious issues in its pages but not in such an expansive way.

“We have been talking about sustainability in fashion for years,” the editor said, noting that the glossy often delves into themes and larger topics throughout the year. “I love a themed issue, but I never want to hammer it home. I think it’s very tiring for the reader.”

As a result, only one-third of the issue will cover sustainability, and it will be guest-edited by Fashion Tech Lab founder Miroslava Duma.

“We are not selling advertising against this,” said Michelle Spinale, vice president of consumer engagement. “I think the real impetus [for the initiative] goes back to our readers. We wanted to create a platform.”

Spinale, who was responsible for developing “Hearst for Humanity,” then made the distinction that they wouldn’t turn away advertisers down the line. Although she would not spell out the business objective, there are likely live events, sponsorship opportunities and data collection that could prove beneficial, among other things.

“It’s a very closely aligned partnership,” she said without delving into the strategic side. “We’re tapping into the expertise of some of these charities….It is collaborative. We outlined what we wanted to cover in the issue and worked with the charities….We know that people want to make a difference and be responsible.”

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