This is a part of new series on Call to Action highlighting some of the great publishers using Respond.
First up is Matilda Egere-Cooper, founder and managing editor of The Cultural Exposé, a creative arts, culture and lifestyle site for “hip + arty urban adventurers” who are looking for things to do in London and beyond.
What inspired you to launch The Cultural Exposé?
I’ve worked in the media industry as a print journalist for the past 10 years, but after seeing some of my favourite magazines become casualties of the recession, I was keen to create my own media outlet that combined my personal fascination with London and my journalism experience. The fact that it could eventually become a little earner motivated me too.
How would you describe your niche in the market?
There are a number of London-focused listings sites in the capital, but The Cultural Exposé is targeted to a slightly younger, international crowd of social “hipsters” who have a fun lifestyle and like to know the ‘cool’ happenings in the city. I call them hip + arty urban adventurers – and it’s a title I personally wear with pride. The site itself focuses more on selecting the coolest things to see and do in the city on daily basis, and shares that info in a very simple format, unlike some sites which might be more comprehensive and complicated.
A few years ago The Cultural Exposé would I guess have been a print-based magazine. Do you feel a connection to print, or is what you only possible online?
I come from a print background, but I’ve always been an avid fan of web journalism since launching my first blog in 2004 and realising that this type of publishing is convenient, cheaper and you can connect with alot more people. I definitely think there’s a chance I might produce some print-based products through The Cultural Exposé brand, but it wouldn’t be in the same format as the site. I definitely think the web format is the best for The Cultural Exposé.
What’s your reader profile? Do you interact much with your visitors?
As mentioned, I call them hip + arty urban adventurers; they’re diverse, roughly 25-40 years old and love doing things in London. I interact with my visitors, mainly through Twitter and occasionally Facebook when I run competitions – but not as much as I’d like to. I’m introducing a few things which will hopefully change that and enable a stronger community to develop. That said, the social club I started last year which was inspired by the site is another way I interact with visitors as I organise events and socials open for them to attend. It’s called The Culture Club.
What were you doing before The Cultural Exposé?
Freelancing, which I still do. I also dabbled in photography – which I still do too.
Where are you based, what’s your workspace like?
I either work from home in West London or a private member’s club called The Hospital Club in Covent Garden. It’s a great, creative venue for networking, having meetings, working – and since I practically run the business on my own bar a few contributors and an intern, it’s nice to be in a space where other people are also busy at work.
What are your plans for the site, both short-term and long-term?
In the short-term I definitely want to monetize more aspects of the site, so getting regular advertising revenue, getting the shop up and running with more merchandise, even apps, and eventually offer premium listings space.
In the long-term, I definitely want the brand to become more widely known and expand to other cities around the world.