With more print editors flocking to the web, it's no surprise that PR girls are doing the same, carving out content-rich sites that are a mix of the professional and the fashionable. Trained in fashion PR, Charlotte Giver decided to create her own lifestyle platform to share fashion news, career tips and pursue like-minded partnerships. Her site, Your Coffee Break, has quickly commanded a presence for providing a wide variety of content and an impressive readership of 35k monthly unique views. Find out how to get your brands in front of her fashion-forward, career-minded audience and learn more about Charlotte below:
What led you to create Your Coffee Break?
From an early age, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in journalism and I have always been a passionate writer. I have a background in entertainment and fashion PR. I pursued a 4-year bachelor degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK and my first internship in Fashion PR was at Red Light PR in Hollywood. I was assisting the Fashion Director and helped with everything from assisting celebrities and stylists to tracking samples on loan and writing up press releases to pitch to editors and bloggers. My first job in Public Relations was at Suitelife Barcelona, where I managed the company’s social media accounts.
Your Coffee Break was first a career site where I wrote about PR, what it’s like working in the PR and fashion industry and gave career advice. When I came back from working in PR in Los Angeles and Barcelona, I had expanded my network and had fabulous contacts in the PR, fashion and entertainment industry. And after working on crafting press releases and pitches on a daily basis I knew exactly where to find all the latest fashion news and I wanted to do something with this information myself. From working in the PR industry and managing social media accounts and working with editors and bloggers on a daily basis, I knew what I needed to know in order to set up my business.
What is your editorial process?
Your Coffee Break works with designers, luxury brands, high street brands and PR firms all around London and the US that provide us with press releases and pitches on a daily basis. These contacts are crucial to Your Coffee Break as we are a daily online magazine and its important to always be on trend and get the latest news the first thing in the morning - it is nice to find stories that haven’t been played anywhere else. If I like a press release or a certain fashion story, we call in samples, decide on photos and write up the fashion feature – usually to be published already the next week. When it comes to the career, lifestyle and travel section, I decide the stories- sometimes after discussing the story with a specific client or an industry professional that we want to interview.
This week, for example, we have an interview lined up with Marissa Kraxberger, the Head of Creative at Oscar de la Renta and last week we interviewed Alexis Rodriguez – Founder of The PR Closet. When we are working on these types of projects, I personally reach out and write up the Q&A. When I receive the answers, I send the Q&A over to one of my writers who will write up the interview feature. My writers are so talented and passionate about their sections in the magazine- Your Coffee Break would never be what it is today if it wasn’t for them.
What makes a story a fit for Your Coffee Break?
Your Coffee Break mostly works with and represents luxury and high-end brands. We always put our reader first and what goes live on Your Coffee Break needs to speak to her. Our target is the sophisticated, professional woman who lives a glamorous life while pursuing a career in the big city. She works in the Fashion/PR industry and has a thick skin (it’s a tough industry!) so we always publish features that will provide her with career advice and tips on how to get to the top and how to work it once you are there, the latest fashion news and trends; the magazine has to reflect whatever is happening today, beauty tips, reviews on new upscale restaurants and top travel destinations – all for her to read during her coffee break (in between meetings, presentations, press events etc.) We are constantly looking for talented women and our interviews with women that we admire; industry professionals, designers and tastemakers are a big part of the magazine.
The best way to get in touch is to send me a pitch via email at charlotte[at]yourcoffeebreak.co.uk. I’m on my iPhone or iPad 24/7 so I am constantly looking through my emails.
What have been the most successful ways you have increased traffic since launch?
I have been working on a few different strategies to increase the traffic to Your Coffee Break. And I’ve found that a quick way to do so is to target bloggers, magazines and online platforms that have been around for a while and already established a fan base. If they’ve got a similar audience to YCB’s I usually suggest a collaboration. It’s a brilliant and fun way to reach your target audience.
However, the most successful way to increase the traffic to YCB has been our collaborations with London department stores such as Selfridges and Liberty as well as covering the Fashion Weeks. We are working with SEO and many of the fashion pieces and campaigns we have worked on together with Selfridges have been hugely popular just because of this. But our most popular piece so far is an article from our ‘Intern Chic’ column, written by New Yorker and PR intern Nicole Bostaris called ‘ 7 things guys should know about dating a PR girl’.
How did your partnership with NYC PR Girls come about?
We started working with NYC PR Girls last year. I first found them on twitter and I immediately loved their articles and found that we have a somewhat similar audience. I first wanted to work together to swap content but we soon decided on swapping logos and one of the girls, Meghan (she’s so lovely!), wrote weekly PR articles for our career section. It was a great collaboration, our readers loved the articles and working together with NYC PR Girls is definitely something I would love to do again in the near future.
Speaking of collaborations, how have you supported The Nakate project?
We worked together with Shanley Knox and the Nakate Project for a year and during our collaboration, we promoted the organization on Your Coffee Break as well as via twitter and in Shanley’s weekly column ‘The Nakate Project’ where she writes articles on her business and journey as an entrepreneur. Shanley is based in New York and I am based in London but we have gotten to know each other very well over Skype. Shanley is a very talented writer and an amazing entrepreneur and role model for a young women looking to start their own business. I’m amazed by her passion for what she does – it takes a strong and smart woman to come up with such a brilliant idea and build a company up from scratch.
Besides coffee, what are your daily essentials? What about reads?
Yes coffee, coffee, coffee! But besides that, I always carry a notepad and pen wherever I go, I can’t work without my iPhone and my calendar. Even though my assistant is managing Your Coffee Break’s calendar that the whole team share online, I note everything down in my own diary which I carry with me everywhere I go. I am a passionate writer, and I have always been, so I like to note everything down. I read PR Daily, Mashable, The Grindstone, Coco's Tea Party and NYC PR Girls.