Tots to Teens Magazine

Tots to Teens and Rapt!: growing up together

Starting a family is a joyous occasion, but for most first-time parents, it also comes with a little trepidation. That’s where parenting magazine Tots to Teens really shines.

The magazine is all about childhood, targeting parents with children 0-12 years old. Its main goal? Making it easier for modern parents to access practical advice and discover helpful products and services. Even better, the magazine is free!

With five issues published every year and 450,000 copies circulated across the country, it is New Zealand’s largest parenting magazine. There’s also Tots to Teens digital and two sister publications have been added to the fold – ‘BUMP & baby’ and ‘the Teen Age’.
For the last 18 years, Tots to Teens has been a staple read for many Kiwi families.
When Aana Marinovich and her husband took over in 2010, “it was very much an advertising-driven magazine”. They saw an opportunity to focus more on editorial, “because we know that driving good readership is about really good content.”

That required a certain level of consistency, so Aana went on the hunt for a more stable design partner (previously, they’d been using contractors and freelancers). A business contact recommended Rapt! (formerly MacWork), and the rest is history. Here’s what Aana had to say about working with the Rapt! team.
Nailing advertising client satisfaction
Despite a renewed focus on developing their editorial work, Aana says advertising still makes up about 45% of the magazine, and it requires a lot of design work.

There’s also a lot of back-and-forth to get the ads looking perfect, and sometimes that can be a challenge when clients aren’t 100% sure what they’re after.

“Particularly in this day and age, publishing is a tough industry. We want our advertising clients to come out feeling like they’ve had a really good experience with us – not just the result, but the whole design process too.”

She says the Rapt! team is “endlessly patient” and “can turn their hand to almost anything”. They’re super creative, but also understand the business implications of their work, and that’s been an invaluable asset, Aana adds.

“You don’t want to go back to a client ten times and the changes haven’t been made. That’s annoying for everyone. Blair and Claude take that one step further, flagging mistakes and making proactive changes to help speed up the process.”
Perfect match for strict deadlines
Missing a deadline isn’t an option when you’re publishing almost 500,000 magazine copies, so the lead-up to print can be stressful. Aana says the Rapt! team takes “our deadlines very seriously” and effortlessly self-manages its work. She loves that they “don’t have to worry”, she knows that when Rapt! is on the job, it delivers high-quality work on time, always.

But not it’s not all late nights and endless cups of coffee – they have fun with the process too.

“They spend a day with our editorial team going through the new issue in detail and we make a really fun day of it. That gives us room to chat through changes in person and get things signed off quickly.”
Simple, streamlined processes for better efficiency
When you’re dealing with multiple clients and looming deadlines, that last thing you want is clunky processes. Using its experience and industry connections, Rapt! has helped the Tots to Teens team simplify their design and print processes, “taking a lot of the time and effort out”, which means more time to focus on other things.

It’s a luxury she doesn’t take for granted.

“We’ve made some great improvements to the way we work over the years. Nothing is ever difficult in any way, shape or form for Blair or Claude – that’s what makes working with them so good.”
Closely aligned values – the foundation of an enduring partnership
One of the first things that struck Aana about Rapt! all those years ago was its work ethic.

“We could tell from the way they treated us that we both had similar ways of doing things, and that was important to us.”

From there, the relationship has been all about continuous improvement, finding innovative ways to work better together and ultimately, delivering a beautiful and inspiring magazine.

It’s the reason she’d highly recommend Rapt!.

“They’re easy to work with, they make an effort to figure out how to fit into our processes, and they’re genuinely nice people.”

From baby steps to happy families
• Capacity to work and meet strict printing deadlines
• Long-term partnership: values-based, focusing on continuous improvement
• Trusted relationships with advertising clients