Wild About has been ZSL’s membership publication for nine years, but over that period the structure of its readership has changed, with the latest surveys showing that the majority were now time-poor parents with little knowledge of wildlife or conservation rather than animal enthusiasts who initially supported the magazine.
Three quarters are parents or grandparents with at least one child aged one year or under.
This revelation prompted a relaunch of Wild About in 2014 so that the magazine met the needs of the new audience while also presenting ZSL as an authority on wildlife and nature. The new look magazine has been designed to enthuse parents and inspire children, interest readers ranging from time-poor dads to passionate conservationists and to put the wildlife centre stage.
The new magazine has adopted a more flexible editorial strategy in order to interest younger readers, introduced imaginative photography, broken up features into bite sized chunks and included household names, such as Goodie and birdwatcher Bill Oddie, to make it more accessible than before. Collectible elements, such as posters, were also introduced.
Following its relaunch, 92 per cent of readers rated Wild About as good or excellent, and the publication is serving to turn readers into regular donors. It is also gaining readers. Within three months of its summer issue, ZSL’s membership had increased to 100,000.
‘This is a vibrant and creative publication with very high levels of engagement,’ said the judges. ‘It has been effective on multiple levels.’