SO What?: Free magazine to launch in Southampton

A brand new and free lifestyle and tourism magazine, uncovering Southampton’s hidden gems and highlighting the city’s range of exciting experiences is set to launch on 5 May.

Unlike publications which target exclusively at tourists, SO What? aims to shine a spotlight on the city’s unique offerings which appeal to residents of Southampton and the surrounding areas as much as visitors.  Through stories on topics that may not be associated with the Southampton, such as Hip -Hop culture and Places of Peace, the magazine can showcase the city in a different light, effectively turning residents into tourists.

GO! Southampton, the Business Improvement District (BID) for the city, has spent the last 5 months collaborating with Solent University students and Solent Creatives to develop the magazine concept and create the first Spring/Summer edition, which will be distributed around the city next month.

Embracing the first edition’s theme of ‘hidden gems’, the magazine will cover things to see and do, eat and drink, health and beauty, fashion trends, experiences, history and culture. The aim is that through compelling content and stylish pictures in an easy-to-read and engaging format, this magazine will become an eagerly awaited gem itself.As well as benefiting those who read it, the magazine will also serve as a PR tool for BID members and other local businesses. While Southampton residents will be the primary target for the publication, it is expected that the magazine will also appeal to visitors and students.

Heidi Isa, Marketing and Events Director of the BID says, “This is the ideal opportunity to showcase the city to the people who live here and beyond.  A publication not just for visitors, SO What? will be inclusive, innovative and inspiring, aiming to turn locals into tourists and to discover places or experiences they never thought existed within the city. We are delighted to be working with talented students at Solent University on this project.”

The first edition of SO What? will be distributed at the ABP Southampton Marathon via the GO! Southampton stand. Other copies will be made available through the BID’s member businesses and to other key locations around the city such as the train station, the airport, theatres and museums.

BID member and Manager at Belgium and Blues Steve Lee said, “SO What? will be a great benefit to Southampton. A lifestyle magazine published by GO! Southampton with content from the actual businesses that make Southampton such a great place to live, work and socialise. The team is great and I’m sure that the articles will be well thought out and a fantastic aid to locals and tourists alike when looking for somewhere to visit whilst in the city.”

Solent University students will be using their marketing and creative skills to produce the magazine, from audience research to logo design, page layouts, articles and photography, all under the guidance of the BID. The first edition of the magazine will launch on 5 May, with the Autumn/winter edition planned for October.