Dean Stattmann – Senior Editor, Men’s Fitness
The Internet began as a way to help people connect better to the information they needed and to share information with others. From its humble beginnings as a Stanford Research Institute portal to what is today – an increasingly interconnected, information dense web of countless websites, blogs and commerce hubs – it has and will continue to bridge gaps of geography, space and time.
From a journalistic perspective, those better suited and comfortable using the Internet as a mode of communication will be better positioned to succeed at building relationships and endearing lifelong customers. Social media is at the forefront of this threshold.
Dean Stattmann, the newly appointed senior editor at Men’s Fitness, is a new breed of journalist. He is young enough to understand the nuance of social media’s potential positives while seeing also its ability to turn people off.
Not quite twenty-five years old, Stattmann is originally from South Africa and moved to the States to attend NYU and study journalism. At Men’s Fitness, where he once interned while still in school and has been working full-time for about two years, he is not required nor formally encouraged to use social media as a mean’s of self or brand promotion. “It’s just fun to be in the conversation,” he said.
Stattmann is a witness of the inherent uses and abuses of the various forms of social media, and has a realistic view of what value can be gained.
“Everyone can use it for something different,” he said. “Some companies maybe get a bit too carried away with that brand as personality thing. It’s a fine line, but I think you can walk it. Have personality, but at the same time, don’t take it too seriously.”
The best thing you can do is to engage with them. “If people reach out to you, answer them. They should know that by being connected to you by social media they will get an answer,” he said.
While social media presents its own pitfalls and prospects, maintaining a strong web presence in addition to print is another facet of the Internet’s industry-altering shift. Stattmann has witnessed this first hand while at Men’s Fitness.
“The Web was essentially an extension of the print magazine. Now, we have an entire web team,” he said. “…The good thing about the Web is there’s no page count, there’s no limit. There’s always space on the Web.”
The ability to see changes and developments from a positive point of view has allowed Stattmann to take advantage of the transformation of the journalism industry.
While working part-time for Men’s Fitness out of college, Stattmann’s visa was due up and he needed a full-time position in order to remain in the country. At the time, Men’s Fitness didn’t have an open position so he took a marketing job with Twinlab, a nutrition company.
In a little over a year, he went from marketing coordinator to content engagement manager, overseeing social media, managing sponsorships, organizing media events and handling publicity. He used this knowledge to “understand the challenges that publicists face.”
Instead of dwelling on giving up on his lifelong aspiration of being a writer, Stattmann used the opportunity to develop upgraded skill set. A year and some months later, a spot at Men’s Fitness opened up, and he jumped at the chance to return to his roots.
Now, as an established New Yorker, Stattmann has been successful in doing what he loves. His advice for others in the industry is simple. “I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but go with what your gut tells you,” he said.
Contact Stattmann by email, especially with the first pitch.
He notes that even if he is too busy to read it right away, he can “flag it for later.”
Stattmann suggests that PR professionals ask themselves why their pitch may be relevant to Men’s Fitness, and that the magazine is read before a pitch is made. “Make our job easier. Make yourself stand out,” he said.
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