At the helm of both a publishing house and a creative agency, Claudia Ribeiro produces much more than a magazine. The founder of Lifestyle Mag and Claur Creative Agency speaks on the many avenues - and experiences - of content creation, whether it’s via a timeless print publication, Instagram post or her recently-launched podcast. Read on for her prediction on the future of print, plus her tips for publicists and marketers collaborating as storytelling partners.
You’re originally from Brazil - what brought you to New York? What keeps you here?
Part of my work day is to have meetings with publicists, PR’s, produce covers and editorial photoshoots--90% of it in NYC. So, after almost eight years of traveling non-stop between NYC, Sao Paulo and Paris, I decided to make my life easier and open an office for our creative agency and publishing house here.
Can you tell us a bit about your career background and how you got into publishing/ content creation?
As a teenager, I was obsessed with my Moleskine notebook collection and would listen to adults speaking and take notes to learn about what they were talking about. Starting at eight years old, I would find myself writing about a variety of subjects from wines around the world to a specific hotel chain concept. My passion for learning and culture grew and as an extremely curious girl, I applied for a job at Discovery Communications in Brazil. It was just fabulous; having the chance to work for such a great company with excellent values with so many different channels, different ways to approach the audience and to produce content. I learned a lot while working there and that experience prepared me for my future experience as an entrepreneur. I worked in a variety of departments, including marketing and content production for brands. That’s how I got the idea to blend my passion for content and business and started producing custom magazines for inspiring brands around the world.
How have you built up your network in NYC?
After so many years of visiting New York on business, I found myself slowly building a reliable and diverse network mostly through different work contacts. I believe that after so many years coming for different meetings, I built up something solid. At the office in Sao Paulo--having 40 people--I was always busy; I had friends coming for dinners (we had a special room for wine tasting and small bites). But as we were starting in NYC with only six people, a normal office would be very boring. So we opened the office at Neuehouse that offers the opportunity to meet creative people, and they have a bar/restaurant so I could invite new clients to come over in a casual style. I had a very good network already, but being there helped a lot.
What is your mission with Lifestyle Magazine?
When I started the company 10 years ago (today the name is Claur) we were very focused on producing not only custom magazines for clients, but also fashion campaigns and branding projects for luxury brands such as Nespresso, Mercedes-Benz, Veuve Clicquot and Audi.
I had no plans to move to NY and we gave a name to the magazine that would suit for the Brazilian market. Now we are planning to open a media platform in English with a new name for the American market. The mission is to bring both audiences relevant content and inspiring stories about people in different fields and focus on how they create their lifestyles, and also continue to produce multimedia content about travel and hospitality.
Do you have any tips for people pitching you stories? What type of content are you looking for?
My readers, listeners and followers love to travel, go to amazing places to eat and to be energized by stories of interesting people that overcame real challenges in life; an entrepreneur that succeeded, an actress that is very humble and became part of the royal family, for example. Subjects that excite our audience to live better lives and travel more.
What are some of the greatest challenges and opportunities facing a magazine publication in the current climate?
Some people look at me like “OMG, you have a magazine, it must be so hard,” but I’m not a magazine, I am a producer of content.
Our print publication is only one of the vehicles we use to distribute our content. Additionally, we have a website, newsletters and a podcast. The Mad Men era is gone and the entire industry is searching for new strategies that work. We must embrace change and learn from the challenges that we face now. Is it harder for me to print and distribute? Yes, of course it is, but at the same time Instagram came along, which is very powerful and we have developed a new podcast on Spotify and iTunes that has been very well received.
What’s your prediction for the future of print publications?
Fewer issues and timeless subjects. That's what we do with the print version of content produced for Lifestyle. People get real time news online and via social media. The idea of Lifestyle Mag is for you to arrive home, take a nice shower, get your silk robe, sit on your most comfortable chair and have some time, just for yourself, to relax, be inspired and probably make plans for your next trip.
How can publicists and marketers best collaborate with traditional media to ensure each others’ future?
Publicists are great partners and we often discuss ideas for their clients/brands. At the end of the day, we are all partners seeking to publish content about their clients, and also to have their help communicating with clients that traditional media has integrity--it’s precise, and the content is researched deeply. We are a safe place to publish content (as we are pitched daily to publish stories) but also we still are a safe place for them to invest their budgets.
Can you share some of the publications’ upcoming marketing initiatives/partnerships that you’re excited to be involved in?
We just closed a yearly sponsorship with Veuve Clicquot and created a partnership with Mondrian Park Avenue to host our new season of podcasts. It is perfect because both brands are vibrant and very cosmopolitan just like Lifestyle Mag.
What are your future career plans?
We are looking forward to the new seasons of our Podcast Lifestyle Lovers on iTunes and Spotify. Season One is in Portuguese, but the new season will also be in English with amazing guests bringing more exciting stories to my listeners. I was always behind the scenes coordinating content with my editors and directing photo shoots, but now I’m in front of the camera hosting the interviews. All of our digital production is creating the perfect avenue for new ways to distribute our content.
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