Weston Homes has collaborated with award-winning newspaper editor Janice Morley and a team of national newspaper journalists to write, design and produce Westonlifeandstyle.com, a new monthly on-line lifestyle magazine, and a sister print publication, The Weston. This collaboration marks the first time in the property industry that a team of journalists has been given editorial independence to produce an editorial website and print magazine for a UK housebuilder.
Weston Homes highlight that traditionally housebuilders have used marketing consultants and publicists to write and design their websites and marketing literature. This unique collaboration with a team of independent journalists brings a new perspective to the Weston Homes product.
Buyers in their 20s and 30s are multi-platform viewers. They search for their information through internet editorial quick reads, concise messages and good looking on-line portals. Crucially buyers want to be advised by trusted sources, familiar and knowledgeable experts, and also like to gain views from journalists who write for trusted publications, and reviews from buyers who have already purchased a product.
This is why Weston Homes approached Janice Morley, the well known property expert and editor, who launched the first ever national newspaper property magazine two decades ago, the multi award winning Evening Standard Homes & Property weekly magazine supplement, and commissioned Janice to produce a new on-line magazine and sister print publication for Weston Homes product, lifestyle and services offering.
Weston Homes gave Janice Morley and her team full editorial independence to produce content and imagery for the on-line and print magazines, and also opened up their customer base enabling the the journalists to speak directly to buyers. The company also provided behind-the-scenes access to their professional team of house builders at their new Weston Homes head office in Takeley in Essex, their high tech new factory and all their development sites. This intensive immersion process provided Janice and her writers with unparalleled access to the Weston Homes brand, enabling them to understand the company DNA.
The team of journalists writing for the Weston Homes magazines include Ruth Bloomfield, a writer for The Times, Wall Street Journal, London Magazine and Financial Times; Anna White, a writer for the Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph and Guardian; Pattie Barron, a leading garden writer, writing for the Evening Standard, Good Housekeeping and The Independent; and Barbara Chandler, the leading design and interiors writer and best-selling photographer.
The result of this six month project is an impressive weekly updated online magazine – westonlifeandstyle.com. It revitalises the traditional purely information led corporate housebuilder website by running this new and glamorous digital magazine alongside it. Janice Morley also produced the first of the sister products, the glossy print magazine known as, The Weston.
Alongside specially commissioned lifestyle photography, the engaging editorial articles in both publications provide readers with a fresh and lively read and an insight into Weston Homes properties, with their emphasis on high tech, modern and glamorous homes for young buyers leading busy lives. The magazines offer guides to those moving in for the first time with experts to help with money, small gardens and balconies, how to handle your space and create a modern interior.
The publications also open up each of the local areas where Weston Homes are building with guides on shops, restaurants and leisure facilities around the new Weston Homes developments. There is also detailed commentary from those who have bought telling readers why they chose to purchase a Weston Homes property and explaining the lifestyle opportunities provided by the developments and their local area.
The glossy 52 page sister print publication, The Weston, has been created to capture an audience to prefer to review printed material and it also provides a glossy coffee table read. This publication is far more than just another lifestyle magazine. With interviews with the chairman Bob Weston, his professionally trained family members who also work in the business; and members of their team the magazine goes behind the scenes to bring these people to life, to reassure buyers and tell the story of this remarkable company.
Janice Morley, Director of JMC (Janice Morley Consultancy) says: “Too many corporate brands leave their clients with little knowledge of the brand and the real people striving to produce a great product. Journalists like myself love a good tale. We have made a career out of wanting to know more about people. The articles provide an insight into the people who produce the Weston Homes product, the people who sell the product, and above all the people who buy their first home from the company. I have really enjoyed this collaboration and producing digital and print magazines to enhance this brand in a way it truly deserves. Weston Homes has for far too long hidden its light under a bushel and the new publications provide an engaging and authentic shop window for the Weston brand.”
Bob Weston, Chairman & Managing Director at Weston Homes says: “For us, giving a team of journalists editorial independence and access-all-areas to our business was a big step, and a first in our industry. But the end result are truly authoritative independent editorial publications that sparkle with contributions from our buyers and guides for purchasers on everything to do with home ownership and the benefits of living in a Weston home at one of our developments. We are looking forward to developing these publications further.”