The panel, which took place at the American Magazine Media conference at The Grand Hyatt, kicked off with the news that Condé Nast, Hearst, Time Inc. and Meredith joined forces to give $9 million worth of free public service announcements in their various magazines for the First Lady’s Let Girls Learn initiative with the Peace Corps.
This story first appeared in the February 3, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Obama, who guest-edited More last year, spoke about the importance of education for girls around the world, as each panelist underscored how their own education impacted their lives.
Seymour then turned the conversation to media — specifically magazines.
Calling magazines, the “best vehicle” to tell nuanced stories, Obama explained her media strategy, which includes partnering with YouTube star Michelle Phan, working with magazine editors and appearing on Snapchat, Vine and on TV shows like Sesame Street.
“We really think about the audience we’re trying to reach. It’s simple,” said Obama, who noted that her two Generation Z daughters are on their mobile phones “swiping” and taking Vines.
“They are not watching the evening news,” she said. “They are not reading The New York Times. No offense, but they’re not. We have to talk to them where they are.”
“It’s a great question, and one that I ask myself every day,” deadpanned Dunham. “There are certain things that you can’t express in the character limitations within Twitter.”
The “Girls” cocreator said she’s “approaching 30” and wanted to create an informative product that would help educate and inform young women about issues such as reproductive rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dunham’s insight was stopped short by snickering nearby.
“She’s not 30!” said Moore, who smiled at Obama.
For her part, Moore spoke about her personal connection with an audience through her own work as an actress and advocate for gun safety.
“The audience doesn’t come to see you,” Moore said about her acting work. “They come to see themselves and their dreams and to reflect.”
The conversation then moved to social media.
“It’s a sign of the times,” the First Lady said. “You have to be nimble because things are so different today.”
As if to hammer home that point, Obama concluded: “If Eleanor Roosevelt was alive today, she would have a Twitter account in addition to her radio show.”