Arena, the world’s smartest men’s magazine, has today announced the launch of its interactive blog www.arenamagazine.co.uk, the first of its kind to be launched by a magazine. It goes live on the 24th July 2006.

The blog will provide a modern media platform that reflects Arena’s unique editorial policy of championing original material. Its aim is to increase awareness of the Arena brand, encouraging communication between Arena readers and contributors and is driven by Emap’s strategy to expand brands across high growth platforms.

William Drew, Arena’s Editor says: “Arena didn’t want to simply create a web site which talks at people. We view the web as an opportunity to strike up a two-way dialogue with our users, get their feedback on our content and form a community around the Arena brand.

“We also plan to use this relationship to generate new content for the magazine. Using blogging technology makes this easy and we’re excited to be creating a site that has such fresh content for our readers.”

Using backend technology WordPress, Arena’s blog has been designed by digital marketing agency New Media Maze (NMM), which will also be responsible for updating content and the online marketing of the site.

Distinctive features of the blog include a built-in background image gallery which allows users to experience some of the iconic photography normally exclusive to Arena magazine, whilst reading the content on transparencies.

It also encompasses a clever ‘text off’ feature which clears all content from the page and allows the visitor to view nothing but the images.

Users can sign up for a regular Arena HTML blog newsletter via email or subscribe to RSS news feeds if preferred.

Dave Smith, MD of NMM said: “The site is unique in that the design really puts WordPress through its paces.

“We decided to use WordPress as a backend as we knew that the open source nature of the technology meant that using CSS we could practically make it do anything we wanted.

“We were able to decide in advance what we wanted the blog to look, feel and act like, and then make it happen. Additionally WordPress has lots of features built in which make it extremely search engine friendly.

“Whilst the magazine writers themselves will be penning all content on the site, New Media Maze will be responsible for uploading the posts initially and keeping the images on the site fresh.”
www.arenamagazine.co.uk

For further information contact
Charlotte Cormack or Kristy Mayo at Ian Monk Associates 0208 838 1810 or 0208 834 1799 charlotte@ianmonk.com or kristy@ianmonk.com

Notes to Editors:

Emap Consumer Media:

Emap Consumer Media comprises all of Emap plc’s consumer magazine portfolio in the UK and overseas, with the exception of France, as well as its TV, Digital and Mobile interests (Emap Performance).

Over 55 titles in the UK serve the special interest (Emap Active), motoring (Emap Automotive), women’s and youth (EMAP Elan), women’s weeklies (Emap Entertainment), men’s lifestyle (EMAP East) and music (Emap Metro). FHM and all its businesses – UK and international – is a division in its own right within ECM and publishes editions in 30 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, China and the US.

Emap plc:

ECM is a division of Emap plc, one of the UK’s leading media companies. Emap plc leads the marketplace with a strong portfolio of over 400 products including FHM, Magic, Heat, Grazia, Nursing Times, Health Service Journal, Spring Fair, Angling Times, Kerrang! and Q. It owns and develops leading edge brands in radio, TV, consumer magazines and B2B (magazines, conferences and exhibitions).

New Media Maze:

New Media Maze is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Hoxton Square, London. Founded in 2000, the company services a broad range of blue chips, boasting a client list which includes some of the leading global entertainment companies such as Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, EMAP, Activision, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Society of London Theatre, and Sega. Recent account wins have included The Disney Channel, Deep Silver Games and Entertainment Rights.

The agency acts as a one-stop-shop for clients, allowing them to draw on modular or fully integrated online marketing services including: Online PR, Promotions, Advertising, Viral Marketing, Web Design & Production, Email and Mobile Marketing, Search Engine Marketing and Affiliate Marketing.

Interested parties can sign up for company updates on the agencies blog: http://newmediamaze.typepad.com or visit http://www.newmediamaze.com

- ends -

Published on: 12:00AM on 19th July 2006