Bonnie Kintzer & Reader's digest Celebrate 'Everyday American Heroes'
When I was a young girl, I would watch my mother take a break every afternoon with a cup of coffee in one hand and a Reader’s digest magazine in the other. Year upon year, this routine would take place, until, one day, I too began picking up Reader’s digest for a much needed break…and a chuckle or two.
Like my mother, I came to love Reader’s digest's rich and interesting stories alongside its keen reminder that life in the United States was actually pretty darn good. Unlike other magazines, routine and monumental challenges faced by regular folks gave Reader’s digest the opportunity to share true tales of “triumph over tragedy” with the heroes being just like you and me – ordinary individuals demonstrating just how extraordinary human beings can be.
And it seems that the core of Reader’s digest has not changed since the beginning of time, despite the transition in leadership from Founder DeWitt Wallace to current President and Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Kintzer. Today, Trusted Media Brands - and in that, Reader’s digest - is being run with the same heart, vision, and impassioned storytelling that DeWitt Wallace had envisioned in the onset -- almost ninety-five years prior. And Bonnie Kintzer is no less personally vested in Reader’s digest’s future, including growing the magazine and brand in ways that present-day readers require, having successfully led the magazine through some tough challenges in recent years. It’s a hero’s tale, worthy of inclusion in its namesake's own pages. I urge you to explore it and more further through Bonnie Kintzer’s interview below.
What is your personal mantra?
To thine own self be true.
Reader’s digest and Trusted Media Brands has undergone a “hard won” rebirth? What made you, specifically, want to take up the charge?
I really loved the company. I had been here years ago and left. I came back on a mission to restore the company. It has such a rich history and my love for the brand and commitment to the heritage is very deep. We reach a lot of people and we are an extremely ‘appreciated’ brand, which begins from the dedication of our employees.
Explain a bit about Reader’s digest Founder Dewitt Wallace?
He was a man before his time -- an incredible visionary – who saw the need to provide information and entertainment in concise form that reminded readers of the beauty of people and life. Reader’s digest is almost ninety-five years old and remains a celebration of America and American’s.
Explain the importance of what Reader’s digest offers to today’s reader?
In a very negative world, we need the reminder that there are many good things still in this world. Reader’s digest offers readers that respite.
Name a key reason(s) readers would choose Reader’s digest and Trusted Media Brands over competitive magazines?
There is not much competition for us. I think we really give people something so unique – creating a package of story combined with emotion. ‘Story’ is at the center of all that we do and we are great storytellers. You will feel something when you read Reader’s digest.
Explain what it is about Reader’s digest that allows it to reach across key life stages as well as be a shared from “mother to daughter” so-to-speak.
People genuinely want to be connected and we give them the ability to connect over our stories. I remember reading one letter from a young woman who uses Reader’s digest as a shared experience with her grandfather. To me, that says it all.
What has been the biggest obstacle in keeping Reader’s digest growing and profitable?
When I first got here, there hadn’t been a lot of investment into it. That has changed, allowing us to grow as well as deliver our stories through print and online.
Is there a way that social media mom influencers can help support Reader’s digest or become involved?
A lot of moms can help cope with their stressful lives by enjoying Reader’s digest. It will inspire them, entertain them, and make them feel better through the stories that we share. Passing that realization along to other moms would be wonderful as well. We also invite your stories to be sent to us, for consideration in being included in the magazine. ‘Mothers’ are everyday heroes and many of your stories are incredible gifts to our readers.
Share a social cause or cause-based organization you or Trusted Media Brands supports?
The Reader’s digest Foundation supports a variety of charities that supports literacy, including the Parent-Child Home Program, which hires people to go into homes of families and teaches parents to read to their children and United Through Reading (UTR), which helps military families. UTR takes a book and has the military member (deployed) read that book on video and then gives that video to their children.
When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
As a great mother. I love my kids. From a work perspective, “To be the person who restored the pride and growth for these brands.”
As so many THREAD MB readers are moms and bloggers, Bonnie Kintzer and I have now made you aware of another opportunity for you to share your stories – through Reader’s digest. How many magazines actually invite you to do this while recognizing the heroism involved in the contributions that you are making to society through your devotion to your families and, basically, everything else that you do? Few, as far as I know.
It is this difference plus Reader’s digest positive perspective that sets it apart and gives reason for all of us to celebrate ourselves and our nation alongside the re-invigoration of this delightful magazine. It’s the right magazine for the right time, in my opinion. Read it and let me or Reader’s digest know yours.
Many thanks to Bonnie Kintzer and Reader’s digest for making this interview possible