Leon founded the Jack Swan magazine back in 2011 but it has changed dramatically over the years.
“I thought that I had a clear target audience – predominantly male, 18-40 and the stereotypical football supporter. I was completely wrong!”
“Firstly, that may have been the stereotypical football supporter in the 90s but even by 2011, that was not the case. For the first few years of the magazine, the content was almost entirely football related with a few dodgy jokes and yet I’d often get elderly women asking me ‘is that the Jack Swan magazine – I love this’.
“Partly with this in mind, since around 2016, the magazine has totally diversified to cater for the fact that we do have many readers that aren’t football fans. We interview a different local band most issues, local politicians, from MPs to Assembly Ministers and we’ve recently added a Travel section and more. We print over 10,000 words of content each issue. Which is a lot!”
Unlike the other magazines. The Jack Swan is not delivered door-to-door and instead left in over 350 outlets across the wider Swansea region.
“It makes its content even more important” Leon says. “There has to be a reason for people to pick the magazine up and because I deliver the magazine myself, I get to see how many magazines are left in each place and whether there are any left the following month. Obviously any magazine that is unread is wasted – both for me and the advertiser and so minimising this is vital.”
“We have places like barbers and takeaways where I leave just 2 or 3 magazines each month which people tend to read but don’t take home. So, every month, when I drop the new issues off, there are still some old magazines there. Sometimes there are a few copies over a few months of the magazine there – which I’m happy with because each copy could be read by countless people as they wait.”
“But then the vast majority of magazines, I’d say well over 95%, are taken home from places like chip shops and convenient stores. In 2023, and especially since Covid, I’ve seen a real change in who are picking the magazines up and where. The reality is that the 18-40s are far less inclined to pick up anything. I have noticed a real drop in the number of magazines picked up in pubs for example. 6 or 7 years ago then I probably put on average 10 in each pub, that’s dropped to 5 but those extra magazines are left in other places where they are picked up.”
“As with all the magazines, for it to succeed, we need people to be seeing the adverts and the Jack Swan is unique. I’m biased, but I don’t believe that there is a better pound for pound form of advertising a brand than Jack Swan locally. The door-to-door magazines are brilliant at getting into peoples doors and creating new customers but to create a brand awareness across the greater Swansea region – nothing beats the Jack Swan in my opinion!”