It’s happened again. More beauty editorial layoffs (that will affect PR) – this time for esteemed editors from Hearst publications.
We in the beauty editorial and PR industries can’t get through a season without the saddening yet never unexpected news. Media outlets lay off talented writers and editors due to “cost-saving measures” and to usher in a “new direction.”
While I’m not running these publications, it’s all starting to feel really shortsighted. The editorial world has become a sea of sameness and ChatGPT-ification.
I don’t write this post to bring us down, but I miss the quality, well-researched journalism of days past. Many media conglomerates today are dependent on affiliate links to drive revenue, and the content reflects that.
Don’t get me wrong – I love affiliate marketing and think it definitely has its place. It’s democratized a lot of editorial and made it easier for smaller brands to earn coverage. But when it’s all affiliate links all the time, we lose the human element of beautifully written, well-researched stories. Affiliate-driven stories have their place, but quality, well-written journalism must balance them out.
Without thoughtful, inspiring writing, audiences and consumers are ultimately missing out. We lose new points of view, the inspiring backstories of entrepreneurs behind the brands, and educational, accurate content. If mass media only features product stories with affiliate links, we’re losing impactful storytelling that can drive culture.
It’s not ALL doom and gloom though. Top-tier media does still have deep-dive features and well thought out articles, just not at the frequency they have in the past.
In the meantime, other places are picking up the slack with researched, inspired, and human content. Some of my favorites?
Beauty Editorial and PR Industry Outlets
Many of our favorite editors have turned to Substack not only to source for stories, but also do deep dives into topics they likely couldn’t have covered during their days in mainstream media. My current favorites are Valerie Monroe‘s How Not to F*ck Up Your Face, Kirbie Johnson‘s Ahead of the Kirb, and Jessica DeFino‘s The Unpublishable.
Lesser read but still impactful, many non-mainstream outlets will take on topics that bigger media doesn’t have the time or space to cover.
While the beauty editorial space is in flux, I’m optimistic. There’s an opportunity for new outlets to take on the role of breaking beauty news.