When social goes media: ZUCKER. reads “Things we write”

When social goes media: ZUCKER. reads “Things we write”
Credits: Charisse Kenion / Unsplash
25. November 2022

Media, whether digital or print, is our business. As a lifestyle PR agency, we at ZUCKER. are always up to date when it comes to industry news and trends. In September, Cologne-based content creator, author and entrepreneur Carmen Kroll aka carmushka published her own magazine, fulfilling a personal dream, as she tells her community on Instagram as well as in the magazine’s editorial. We took a closer look at Carmen Kroll’s new lifestyle magazine. Here’s our impression:

The magazine with a change of perspective

Far away from perfectly staged social media content, the “Things We Write” magazine follows the claim to address the reality of life, to take different perspectives and to address unfiltered topics that touch the editors as well as the readers.

The 180-page print magazine literally ensures a change of perspective when everything turns upside down from page 138. The magazine is read from both sides and only needs to be turned over once. “Things We Write” presents personal opinions – and not just in the form of handwritten comments next to the editorial articles. The title and the individual chapters “Things WE Love,” “Things WE Feel,” “Things WE Express,” “Things WE Achieve,” and “Things and Thoughts” make it clear that it’s all about a we, an us, and simply about the real opinions, values, and feelings of the community. In addition to the classic category “Hot or Not” or, in this case, “Things we Love” and “Things we don’t hype”, personal attitudes are also shared regarding possibly critical or even taboo topics such as parenthood, sex and mental health. We think that’s great – one thing we love!

Credits: Laura Dörling

By the way: The “Things we Love” tips are very inspiring when it comes to Christmas gifts. From jewelry to Stölzle red wine cups and Neonail gel nail polish to a weekend getaway destination in the Alps, it’s all here. The same goes for the “Things we Love to Think about” category, this is where it gets really deep. When we say the magazine touches, we think of just such topics as well as questions à la “What compliment in your life have you been most happy about?” that also find their place here. The “Things we don’t hype” topics are thought-provoking too. What’s your take on Stranger Things? What do you think of e-scooters and what is your opinion of dolphins? Important questions, some of them “unpopular opinions”… The topic of Guilty Pleasures might be even more exciting. Somewhere between cracking fingers and trash TV we find ourselves. In addition, the magazine discusses current trends such as matcha latte and cowboy boots in an entertaining way. We also find the “Follow for Follow” pages in the magazine inspiring, where Instagram channels, i.e. content creators, are suggested whose content is worth a look. Among them: Tijen Onaran, Aurel Mertz and Kristina Lunz. Who already knows them?

Ultimately, it is always up to the reader to decide what to do with the perspective presented. Nothing is imposed here, no one tries to persuade.

The first impression: hyper-aesthetic and sophisticated

The layout of “Things We Write” is rather simple and kept in light colors. On the cover, editor-in-chief Carmen Kroll looks directly at us in a pink pantsuit matching the pink title. The simple elegance runs through the entire magazine. It is already attractive on the outside and arouses interest in turning the pages. Between clean fonts, there are repeated handwritten annotations, encircles and arrows that arouse curiosity about the articles.

This first impression of the magazine cover is confirmed when reading the contents. Not only the topics arouse interest, but also the personalities behind them. In addition to the small editorial team, singer Nina Chuba, entrepreneur and model Lena Gercke, and Influencer:innen manager and entrepreneur Niclas Kroll, among others, make guest appearances and enrich the readers with their view of things, of the world. Did you know that Nina Chuba would love to perform at sea? We would be there! Another fun fact: Nina thinks up (German) words like Kaldrian, Süßbär or Verbranntobert. If you want to know what they mean, you’ll find the answers in the magazine. In addition, there are exciting columns, for example on the subject of unplanned pregnancy – after three months of relationship. What to do? Columnist Nina Kämpf gives deep insights into her personal experiences. 

In addition, there are business and financial topics. Carmen’s husband and Influencer Manager Niclas Kroll talks to us and gives us exciting insights into the process of influencer collaborations – which is also very interesting for our daily business at ZUCKER. On the following pages, readers will learn tips on investing – including a glossary of the most important terms for those who are just getting to know the world of finance. Very helpful! As well as elsewhere and in a different context the “Diversity Dictionary” – who knows what to do with the terms “tokenism” and “microaggressions”? – or the suggestion box by psychologist Karolina Kroll, which addresses topics that concern readers or the editorial community and should definitely be addressed. 

We were also struck by the fact that there are as few advertisements as possible. The few advertisements are ideally matched to the content. The tips that the authors have integrated editorially are also optimally integrated into the magazine concept and so well selected that we would prefer to buy all of them again.

Credit: Laura Dörling

Things We Write – a thing we hype?

Very big YES! Reading the “Things We Write” magazine was and is a pure pleasure, not only thanks to the outer form with its appealing magazine design. The topics inspire, make you think and are very pleasant to consume. “Things We Write” is definitely not a magazine that you leaf through in an afternoon and then put aside. It’s worth taking your time to read the individual articles. Peu à peu, the magazine reveals itself as a whole. With its quarterly publication, the magazine, or rather the editorial team, gives readers exactly the time frame that conscious reading enjoyment demands. The next issue will be published in January. As editor-in-chief Carmen Kroll has already communicated on her Instagram channel, the circulation will be increased. The demand was already gigantic for the first issue, so that “Things We Write” Vol. 1 was as good as sold out after a few weeks, no days. Luckily we were able to get hold of a copy… By the way: When you’re done reading, the booklet is also suitable as an interior accessory, it looks so beautiful. Recycling at its best? We’re already looking forward to the next issue – and maybe we’ll somehow get one or the other ZUCKER.customer as an editorial tip in the magazine…

A post by Laura Dörling