Magazine Publishers Association executive director Pip Elliot has announced she will leave the position in December. Elliot joined the MPA in February 2015 and has been responsible for the day-to-day management of the industry body ever since.
Her last day will be 4 December.
After a five-week stint travelling around Europe with her family, Elliott hopes to return to New Zealand and enjoy the tail-end of summer before finding her next venture.
"For me, I've had to close this chapter before I know my next step. I'm not retiring, I'm just looking for something that I believe I can contribute to.
"I love magazines and this industry, but it's time for a change for me on a personal level."
Elliott's career has been versatile so far. Hailing from Wellington and studying food science at the University of Otago, Elliott started her career as a marketing assistant working with the production evaluation of dishwashers at Fisher & Paykel, before spending seven years in sales for Tegal Foods.
After a five year stint as general manager at Netlink Distribution, Elliot got a taste for the world of publishing and moved to the New Zealand Herald – first as the marketing director and later as the general manager of sales and marketing. Before joining the MPA, Elliot was general manager of Roy Morgan research for more than three years.
With her next steps, Elliott isn't limiting herself – she just wants to find something that takes her fancy.
"Anything is possible. What you realise is that a whole lot of skills come together and it is amazing how you can apply them across any industry."
The MPA Board has advertised the executive director position, and, as far as Elliott knows, there are a couple of promising candidates – but she's staying out of the process.
"History tells you that sometimes when you try and replace yourself you make a muddle of errors. It's up to the Board to put the right person in the position."
Reflecting back on her time at the top of the industry body, Elliott says she's proud of what has been achieved in the last three and a half years.
The MPA launched Magazine 360 last year, a website that serves as a central control panel where media strategists or advertisers can access total magazine brand audience – across print, online and social – for participating MPA member publications.
"In my time the board has taken really big leaps of faith, like with Magazine 360. We recognised as an industry that we were really hard for advertisers to understand and since the launch there has been a significant change in the way we view ourselves."
Elliott feels the MPA and the magazine industry as a whole are in a really good space at the moment and have the right minds around the table to face the future challenges the industry will face.
"We know that there are some challenges for us in our delivery and distribution channels, which is no different to a lot of industries. We have the right skills to work through them and I think magazines have a fantastic future, because I don't think there are many other mediums that connect with an audience the way we do.
"We have a very proud history in New Zealand with magazines. My frustration is that communicating the value of magazine media to advertisers and agencies can be difficult – it's too easy to go for the new shiny thing but magazine ads are curated for a particular audience, and they actually read the ads."