Having been in the spotlight for close to 50 years, I’ve had my fair share of media coverage. The good, the bad and the ugly – you name it, I’ve experienced. But what’s the saying? ‘All publicity is good publicity’… right?
richard branson virgin trains azuma press media
Anyone who runs a business knows the importance of coverage – not just in the press, but online, in person and everywhere in between. Every entrepreneur probably remembers the first time their company was profiled too. One piece of coverage I’ll never forget was when I was interviewed by British Vogue as a teenager, right back in the very beginning.
As a bright-eyed 17 year old, I was featured in the fashion publication’s Stride section, talking about my first business venture, Student magazine. The piece reads as follows…
Richard Branson is very much a student – a great woolly jersey, a cheerful rumbling energy and a slight surprise that the world should be thought difficult. He’s now left school to get a national magazine off the ground. Student’s first issue has sold out its 55,000 copies, is glossy professional and quite unobsessive.
Richard, its editor and publisher, thought of the idea at boarding school when his original plan for a school political magazine was stopped. So he just went on to higher things, financing it entirely from pre-paid advertising. He has startling shrewdness about the whole thing.
“What I wanted to do in the first issue was use big names – so the reader will feel it amounts to something. Our future issues will be almost entirely student. What we need is young people’s idea(s) coming through – a forum for students, something which brings them together and gets their ideas across. The problem is that the English student is really concerned over small things, he’s too satisfied, you know, he gets upsets over digs, the amount of his grant, but he’s not involved. It isn’t that he isn’t aware, but he’s not involved. I hope the magazine will give expression to the feeling of internationalism, the wish to know about other students’’ problems, and also get him involved.”
richard branson vogue student magazine
I remember feeling incredibly excited about what the Vogue piece could do for Student – which you can see from my ear-to-ear smile and the way I’m hugging a copy of our first edition. My mum still has a treasure trove of cuttings and this from Vogue of course made the cut.
Do you remember the first piece of publicity your business received? How did you feel about it? I’d like to hear about your experience in the comments below.