Interview Biography: The Revolutionary Renovator Alexandra Bandon
March 4, 2014
Dressed chic in all black with matching silver pendant and black onyx jewelry, Alexandra Bandon spoke of her adventures at This Old House. She’s amiable, smiling and laughing telling the story of her career.
Alexandra started out working at the New York Times Magazine and quickly went from a simple fact checker to a writer. Her first byline was given to her after the friendly exchange of a chocolate cream pie. “What was great about working at the New York Times was that I was so easily connected to the other people. That’s how I got my first byline. It was kind of funny that I bribed him with a chocolate cream pie” she said jokingly. After writing for a few years she started to realize the importance of establishing relationships with other colleagues and superiors. She said, “in this business it’s all about making connections”.
When she was offered the position of an editor at This Old House she was elated. The magazine was her dream job because she was so familiar with the brand. In regard to the television show she said, “I loved watching them renovate old houses. It was like watching artists paint.” Only a true renovation innovator could watch the regimented process of a housing renovation and see the beauty in it.
She worked as the Senior Editor of This Old House for ten years. She loved her job with the magazine. When the thought of being moved to the digital side of the magazine she thought, “why would I want to do that?” But the questions of her boss, “why would you not want this promotion”, lead to Alexandra’s realization that maybe digital isn’t all bad. She tried her hand at it as the Multimedia Editor and before she knew it, she was the Online Editor-in-Chief of This Old House where she has been for the past five years.
“It’s not all about the content. It’s about driving traffic to your site,” Alexandra said. The website has great SEO, which leads to easy traffic through various search engines, but there is less of a social media aspect of the magazine. Realizing this missed opportunity for the website and the overall brand, Alexandra began her search in finding the right people to work the ins and outs of all social media platforms. With an audience of DIYers and BIYers (Do-it-Yourselfers and Buy-it-Yourselfers) you only have a few seconds to capture their attention and quickly engage them. They are “fast clickers” and will soon leave in search of the next article that fits their “how-to” bill.
This Old House is part of Time Inc., a sub-agency of Time Warner, and will soon be celebrating their independence from the large company. Looking into the future, Alexandra would first love to see where the magazine can go after the company change is made. Afterward, it’s up in the air. She would either like to work in features at a new magazine or be a housing renovation consultant in the metropolitan area. To her, the latter would be “the best job ever”. Even though she’s unsure of her future steps, she thoroughly believes that “you can do whatever you want until you want to do it. But above all, a skill to have when you’re going out there is humility.”