03/10/2022 Richard Siddle, the co-founder and editor of the Buyer a popular UK-based on-line drinks trade platform, talks about creating content with Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network.
Richard Siddle, the Co-Founder & Editor of the Buyer, a fast-selling magazine in the UK, talks about creating content with Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network. The Buyer is all about connecting the premium on trade, drinks producers with buyers and that’s their primary goal.
In the context of wine and drinks, he considers himself a business journalist. He aspired to direct movies after graduating from college, but finding work as a journalist was much simpler given his lifelong interest in business, how companies operate, etc. Richard has worked across a number of fields including FMCG (Fast-moving Consumer goods), drinks, hospitality, computing, grocery retail, convenience, and travel. It is very important to understand the dynamics and how the industry works each time you move from one sector to another. When he first entered the wine sector, it was to edit a magazine called Harpers Wine and Spirits. Although he had previously covered wine and beverages in other retail magazines, this was on the level of a supermarket rather than the level of manufacturing and distribution.
Sharing his perspective on what a good story is, he says, “Going back to the business element, lots of drinks writers come into the sector because they are really interested in wine or spirits, and that is their passion whereas, I’m more interested in the story or the content, and you absolutely have to know who your reader is.” Additionally, in all forms of journalism, the reader is the most crucial character in the entire narrative. When conducting interviews, a journalist must only focus on topics that will be of interest to their audience.
The reader who works in the day-to-day buying and selling of wines and spirits will benefit from Richard's job by learning how to do that job effectively. That is what drives him. Richard's job includes finding the stories, the people, and the issues that will ultimately help the reader. According to him, the drinks industry needs to be more focused on the end reader in the same way that it needs to be focused on the consumer. As he discusses, “Ultimately the consumer just wants to enjoy the products or the reader just wants to know the information.”
Working quickly to meet a deadline is the standard in the business-to-business (B2B) sector. A skilled journalist should be able to produce a decent 1,000 to 2,000-word narrative per day. If you’re working for a national newspaper, there are a lot of different disciplines on different titles you work on. Comparing journalism with sports, Richard adds, “ Journalism is like a sport, you need to have the natural fitness or the natural capability to be able to up or lower your rate of work, depending on what you have and you need to be able to understand how to use those skills in a way that is going to maximise your output.”
One big thing about writing a title would be not to tease too much because it’s going to annoy people. In journalism, ‘the who’, ‘the what', ‘the how’, ‘the why’, and ‘the when’ are the five aspects you need to keep in mind when covering a story. All writers should take note of this crucial advice: The article's last sentence is the least significant. You develop the content by including the majority of the important facts in the opening paragraph.
Finishing the interview, Richard gives some advice to aspiring writers, “Don’t necessarily always look at your own industry, look at what you like reading, what is it that you get most interested in. Learn from the writers, how they produce their content.” Most journalists should watch the news and take note of how other journalists in different fields present the news.
Article by Puja Behera, Beverage Trade Network