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Danielle McNally – Senior Editor, Details

As a two-time marathon runner, triathlete, yogi and pilates practitioner, Danielle McNally is no stranger to fitness and what it takes to look and feel good. She has taken cooking classes at the National Gourmet Institute and is a self-proclaimed nutrition and personal health nut. In June 2013, she also took on the role of senior editor for the Body section at Details magazine.

McNally got her start as an editorial assistant at the Food Network Magazine, where she later became an assistant editor. She credits this time in her life with falling in love with health and fitness. “I truly fell in love with how endurance sports made me feel, and made that part of my personal life, and then was able to transition to reporting on it professionally,” she said. “I’d be really bad at my job if I didn’t enjoy eating well and working out.”

The Body section covers fitness, health, and nutrition; including sex, mental health and grooming as it relates to health. “Really anything that has to do with a guy’s health and looking and feeling good,” she explained.

As she covers topics that are interesting to her both personally and professionally, her personal social media accounts reflect this, highlighting fitness and food images. She may occasionally tweet or Instagram from the company accounts, but predominately focuses on print. “We do a lot of digital and Web extras, video and behind the scenes slideshows that are promoted by TwitterFacebook and Instagram.”

Coming from a background of covering women’s fitness coverage, McNally said that most of the basics remain the same for both sexes, with the differentiation being in demographics and physique. She wants her readers to come away smarter and more informed on cultural trends. “Certainly my audience is now different, guys in their 20s and early 30s; very urban successful men with more disposable income who want to keep up on the latest foods and culture.”

She aims to keep the readership informed and fashionable while in the boardroom or the gym, and produce trend pieces that reflect this. One of her goals at Details is to integrate more product coverage into the section, broadening the scope of products available to men so they feel ahead of the curve. “I’m going to keep my ear to the streets and finger on the pulse of all the trends to ensure we are reporting on the newest research and the hottest up-and-coming thing,” she said. “Whether it’s the new workout class or the cool new ingredient all the chefs are using. That’s our goal.”

McNally’s role at Details will be more of an editorial nature than she had at Shape, and is excited for the challenge and freedom to take ownership of the section. She credited her previous editors with shaping her editorial talents.

“My previous editor, Jeanine Detz, was such a great teacher and she’s a really tough editor,” she said. “I think having a strong editor with a very keen sharp eye when I was a writer is really going to help me to bring those critiques and nuances to my editor.”

One particular part of health-related reporting that she finds special is the attention to accuracy and thorough vetting of stories.

“Not that it is unimportant in any other aspect of journalism, but we need to make sure that the information we are giving people is based on peer reviewed studies and hard facts.

“We need to be sure that we are talking to the detractors and the critics, as well as the fans and the promoters to get both sides of the story,” she said. “I think since we are dealing with people’s health, we just really have to make sure that we cover all angles, pros and cons so people know what they are getting into.”

McNally is eager to work with the Details staff and looks forward to exploring the stories men’s health has to offer. “It really is such a great publication and niche. I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon.”

 

Pitching Tips

McNally prefers to be pitched via email. “Even if I don’t respond, I’ve flagged it or put it in a folder for later.”

Be sure to personalize and tailor the pitch to get consideration.

“The more tailored the pitch, the better. It’s a little annoying when you can tell you get a mass email if the name or publication isn’t even correct. Those little minutes go a long way.”

Also, stick to the target audience of Details readers. “Definitely specific to something Details would want to see, keeping mind that we are aimed at urban men in their 30s.”

 

About Laura Botham

Laura Botham writes features covering the movers and shakers in the media industry, daily updates, and Top 10 lists. She is a media researcher at Cision, specializing in Internet media. She is a freelance artist, enjoys traveling, the mountains, and can always make time for a cute animal video.

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