As America heads to the polls Tuesday, fashion publications are gearing up to cover one of the most anticipated and unusual elections in U.S. history.
In the lead up to Tuesday, publishers have ramped up their election coverage: Vogue.com dedicated its entire homepage to Hillary Clinton on Monday, highlighting the magazine’s endorsement of Clinton for president—it’s the first time it has endorsed a candidate. Stories on the homepage included “The absolute funniest election memes of the year” and “6 women on why they’re taking their daughters (and sons) to vote.”
Since the last election in 2012, social media has become a crucial and key element for most publishers’ coverage plans. Glossy spoke to three fashion publications to get insight on what their election coverage will include.
The New York Magazine–owned fashion website, The Cut, is focused on creating original content for Instagram, over other platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. The site will use Instagram stories to feature 100 New Yorkers and their reasons for voting. Leading up to Tuesday, The Cut asked readers to submit selfies along with the reasons why they voted. The editorial team will use these to build a photo collage that will be posted to Instagram—they’ll tag every person. The social media team has also been given free reign to post to Instagram as many times as it wants, rather than adhering to the usual three-post limit, said editorial director Stella Bugbee.
“We expect that people will have a real thirst for content around the election,” said Bugbee. “It seems Instagram is the place to let it go and experiment and engage with people. People are tired of reading more about something they’ve already made up their minds about. We need actionable and thoughtful posts.”
A team of six — four writers, one editor and one person dedicated to social media — will be manning Instagram at all times and will rotate throughout Election Day and night. The Cut has eight reaction and celebratory pieces ready to be published Wednesday, depending on the result. Facebook and Twitter will be used as normal to distribute written stories, Bugbee said—adding that the site will also pull in articles and videos that have previously been published, like its two-year-old “Women’s rage,” video, which has been circulating during the election.
The magazine is going all out on its Snapchat Discover platform, with an election-themed edition. Cosmopolitan’s 10-person team dedicated to Snapchat Discover will create 19 pieces of content for the platform, including the legality of selfies in the voting booth, an election anxiety meter and an “I Voted!” snap, which users can share. The magazine will also create an election-themed episode of CosmoLive, its Facebook Live series, which will cover results throughout the day, touch on upcoming content on both the website and social media, and encourage viewers to comment and be part of the conversation.
Two reporters and photographers will also be sent to polling booths to talk to young women voters about their perspectives. The rest of Cosmopolitan.com’s 42 staffers will cover speeches by both parties, the results and online reactions, particularly on social media. Contributing writers will also be on standby to write analysis pieces on the outcome for Wednesday morning, said Cosmopolitan.com’s executive editor Lori Fradkin.
“It’s not necessarily this person just won this state,” said Fradkin. “We’ll certainly update the winner, but we’ll look at what’s going on online, the best tweets, so and so’s reaction.”
The men’s fashion and style magazine is opting for a heavy Twitter presence, as well as live blogging heading into Tuesday evening. GQ author Jack Moore and contributing writer Jay Willis will man the blog, alongside two or three editors—they’ll jump on any news or major developments the magazine thinks will interest its readers. The blog will be on GQ.com and four-election related stories are likely to go live tomorrow, which is in keeping with the number of stories that have been been published daily leading up to Tuesday.
“We’ll be keeping social feeds really active,” said GQ’s web editor Jon Wilde, adding that Twitter is where it has some of the most audience engagement and interaction. “We’re not focused on the idea of updating polls. We’re not a news-first organization, we’re not CNN. We’re about taking a thing that’s happening and putting some context around it, in a funny, smart and witty way.”
GQ has a three-person social media team. One of its engagement editors, Freddie Campion, will lead the Twitter coverage, tweeting a mix of GQ’s opinions and context around the news that breaks. On Facebook, former sports commentator Keith Olbermann will continue his political video series for GQ, dubbed “The Closer.” Olbermann will pre-record videos for Tuesday and Wednesday, which will mark his final election campaign video for the publisher. GQ will also republish some of its most popular election pieces, including Julia Ioffe’s inteview with Melania Trump and editor-in-chief Jim Nelson’s piece on why Obama will be one of the greatest presidents in history.