Cosmopolitan Cleverly Stokes Reader Engagement

Cosmo Pitch meeting

A screenshot of Cosmo’s livestreamed pitch meeting.

Broadcasting a pitch meeting might be most journalist’s idea of Truman Show-like hell, but Cosmopolitan.com livestreamed their pitch meeting this afternoon because it knows how to reach its readership.

And that readership is one that wants to spend almost an hour on a Tuesday afternoon watching editors awkwardly giggle while kicking around story ideas in a conference room. 

Sitting in front of computers, backlit by the Cosmopolitan logo and a TV playing a continuous yule log overlaid with periodic images of cup cakes and animals in Santa hats, the staffers started by throwing out some edgier topics (as per online editor Amy Odell’s request) like BDSM, latex fetishes and 69ing. The latter sex act reminded one staffer of a Sex and the City episode. Actually, Sex and the City came up more than once. 

A shirtless, male staffer entered the room to propose a new feature called “Cooking With A Hottie” where the bare-chested fellow cooked food with a cute girl, a stunt that we are sure had nothing to do with the broadcast. That pitch quickly devolved into a discussion of quinoa, everyone’s favorite grain-like protein, “Cookie Butter” (apparently mashed up cookie crumbs and butter) and the differences between egg pizza, frittatas and quiche. The shirtless male staffer remained shirtless. 

There was talk about whether anyone would share a list of movies to watch after a break up (suggestions: The Way We Were and The Sex and the City movie) before someone raised the concern that such a list might too depressing, “like you’ll be sad forever.” Eventually, they settled on a list of 10 ways that movie relationships aren’t like real ones. 

We almost made it through the first ten minutes of the meeting before tuning out. We have our own (thankfully not broadcast) pitch meetings to prepare for.

But then, we aren’t really the target demographic.

As evidenced by the magazine’s Twitter feed and the recent Cosmo Reader Night, the magazine is shrewdly playing on the brand’s popularity and promoting a feeling that readers are included in the editorial process. The result is audience engagement and brand loyalty, two key components to any successful social media strategy. 

Cosmo readers  were encouraged to tweet suggestions and comments with the hashtag #CosmoLive in the hopes of getting their comments read and talked about on air by the editors. And tweet they did, many expressing the hope that they would one day be in the meeting, giggling while talking about Sex and the City, sex and potential articles with fellow Cosmo staffers and anyone who wants it join in on the Internet.

The tweets were actually pretty heartwarming. Like a virtual yule log in a conference room in the Hearst Building.