Many congratulations to you Petula on your first-year anniversary with Hubert Burda Media this month – any exciting changes to expect?
Burda International is making a significant investment to expand its business across the region, bolstering its workforce to offer innovative luxury content solutions across digital, print and creative services. Our mission is to be the first in luxury, connecting affluent consumers with luxury brands and services through targeted content solutions. To assist with this we have restructured the team in Hong Kong: Talia Jackson will spearhead Burda luxury creative services here and across the region; for Burda print business, a newly appointed Managing Editor Tama Miyake Lung is joining next Monday to lead the Prestige editorial team; and Burda digital content platforms is led by Michael Connelly as Head of Burda Digital Content.
It’s been a very exciting year so far and I’m very grateful to be working with such supportive and hardworking teams during these past 12 months.
Based on your experience how has luxury publishing changed?
Ongoing technological innovation continues to change customer behaviour but great story telling is still essential, no matter what the platform. On the commercial side, in the old days brands were very focused on premium positioning for their advertisements, and while this is still important today, brands expect more holistic solutions and Burda continues to adapt its business to meet these needs by offering bespoke integrated solutions.
Through our people’s passion and hard work, our digital business continues to grow. We have also significantly grown our print portfolio with new clients, such as ifc mall, International Culinary Institute, Swire Properties and Centre Stage for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. We also provide content solutions for clients such as Sands China Ltd, Landmark, Ferrari and Galaxy Entertainment Group. Watch this space – there’s more to come.
How do you work with your teammates across Asia?
Our regional teams are experts in luxury and lifestyle and understand very well the significant differences and similarities between the local markets. Under the regional leadership of Burda International Asia CEO Sven Friedrichs, we share the same vision and mission, which is to be the first in luxury, and see opportunity for growth from luxury vertical markets such as travel, property and retail.
We regularly exchange knowledge and experiences as we learn a lot from each other’s markets and experiences to create more solutions for our clients.
I really appreciate how our teams work together closely in a unified way: when everyone works as one team the magic happens. You get so many new ideas and you feel the passion and energy, which is then shared with our clients and, most importantly, we have a lot of fun along the way.
What’s your take on how to rise above the competition in this attention-deficit era?
We are indeed living in a world of information overload where audiences are distracted. The challenge is how to cut through the clutter.
As the Publisher we hope our readers enjoy our print edition of Prestige as time away from technology. So we plan to continue with running the most interesting interviews: the best cover stars, exclusive interviews with celebrities and fashionistas, in-depth features on arts and culture, and our society section with its visual feast of people and events each month. In fact our July issue with Siwon Choi on the cover was one of our most popular this year, being much favoured by all – and in particular our millennial audience. ForPrestige it’s all about living the good life in the best most luxurious way possible.
Digitally and in print, we maintain deep relationships with KOLs specialising in different luxury markets and we work very collaboratively with KOLs to engage existing readers and reach new ones. The future is all about being open to new ways of working as well as working in a much more collaborative and bespoke way with KOLs, social media businesses, PRs and agencies.
To ensure a cutting-edge digital portfolio, Burda recently appointed American agency Wondersauce to create best-in-class content experiences for modern consumers.
What are your tips on work-life balance in this time-stressed industry in this hectic city?
I was born in Ireland and have lived and worked in London and New York. I’ve managed to clock up eight and a half years in Hong Kong, which means Hong Kong is now home for me and my husband. During weekends I love a good hike across the hills (although not in August!). I find being in nature is so helpful. Taking regular long weekend breaks and hanging out with friends definitely helps towards a happier life.
Hong Kong is on a fitness craze and I definitely recommend doing more exercise – though need to practice what I preach. I also love to meditate, even if it’s just for five minutes – it’s important to have the time and space for yourself.