How to pitch to Citizen Femme with Sheena Bhattessa
Citizen Femme is the leading digital destination for today’s female traveller. The digital magazine and its accompanying podcast empower savvy and dynamic women with an exclusively-female perspective on everything from travel and style to business and art. Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Sheena Bhattessa, kindly shared her advice on pitching to Citizen Femme and what the team is and isn’t looking for in a pitch.
Who are the Citizen Femme readers?
Our readers are mostly women aged from their early to mid-20s to their late 30s. More importantly than age, we are talking to independent, savvy women who want to know how best to spend their time wisely. This is what luxury means to them in today’s world.
Citizen Femme readers want to enjoy a better way of living thanks to trusted advice. They want to mix the luxury bag with the high street easy-to-wear wardrobe. They want to relax and recharge at the boutique hotel that understands them as a traveller. They want to read an interview with a woman they admire and appreciate and know what’s on her agenda as someone they can relate to.
What do the Citizen Femme team want to hear about from brands?
Firstly, I think it's important to understand the definition of luxury, which is so different now compared to even five years ago. Our readers want “luxury”, yet not what we used to understand by the word: excessive consumption. Rather, luxury for our readers today relates to time and value, ensuring they spend their precious time enjoying only the finest experiences and products.
Citizen Femme covers an extensive range of travel topics including hotel features, city guides and insider guides with really interesting, brilliant women as well as inspirational story-led pieces which we find are increasingly popular.
Readers are also very interested in our style content which features monthly style guides, an interview series on globetrotting women and plenty of galleries. In terms of beauty, we feature monthly beauty drops and conversation pieces around products, treatments, trends and wellbeing.
Our new Citizen Enfants section covers everything for mums and their mini-mes from travel tips to the best family travel hotels and interviews with mums on how they really do it.
Citizen Femme readers are also very culturally-engaged, so we curate a weekly hotlist covering the arts, books, food and drink and a superb new opinion piece column with inspiring women. We have a regular podcast too and will be working on the themes in early 2023.
While this tells you our columns are expansive, the key really lies in what information we are sent. It’s important to understand our reader: do you think she would buy that? Book it? Stay there? Does it offer something that will make her experience all the more worthwhile? Does it add value to her life in some way or make her happy? Will it create an interesting conversation?
If the answer is yes, yes, yes, then we want to hear about it.
How far in advance does the Citizen Femme team want to hear about news?
Being digital, we can be reactive and work very quickly. While our monthly themes are planned almost six months in advance, we can produce our content up to the day before. Having said that, we want to be one of the first titles to hear about your news, launches and interesting stories so we are really receptive to hearing from PRs and we have excellent relationships.
What are the key topics you’re interested in hearing about?
Key topics lie across the key content pillars described above. However, we also plan themed content which can always fuel ideas for brand partnerships and general content. For 2023, we’re planning the following themed content:
January: The Future
March: Fashion; The New Season
April: The Hotlist
June: Best of British
August: Out of Office
What makes a good pitch?
Knowing where the piece could live on the site is key. We look for pitches that demonstrate their relevance to our audience and show a strong understanding of our readers and the Citizen Femme platform. If you have one client you think would make part of an excellent round-up, feel free to pitch it with an overall concept which can form part of a bigger feature.
What makes a bad pitch?
I don’t love mass mailouts where I’m called “love” or “lovely”: that’s an automatic delete. We are very clearly a magazine targeting women so don’t pitch products targeting men unless they’re relevant to the season. Or, give us a reason why it's relevant for our readers.
Who are the best editorial contacts for Citizen Femme?
Travel: Sheena Bhattessa, Katie Silcox, Lucy Halfhead
Beauty: Becki Murray
Style: Gemma Louise Deeks
If you’re not sure where or how something might fit but think the idea could be relevant to our audience: Sheena Bhattessa
Partnerships and brand affiliations: Lucy Halfhead
PR interviews and quotes: Alexandra Carello
Any other advice you’d like to share when a brand is considering pitching to you?
Understand timing when you’re pitching to a digital publication like Citizen Femme compared to a print title. Before you pitch, please also check we haven’t covered the topic recently.