When Amit Chakravarty, co-founder of men’s lifestyle title Elysium Magazine, came up with the idea to create a digital offering dedicated to men’s fashion and style, DiscerningGent.com was born. Six months since its launch, Gorkana’s Jessica Lester caught up with Chakravarty to find out why he’s looking to target a more “Instagram-esque” audience, what the qualities of a “discerning gent” are, and why PRs are often the gatekeepers to great editorial content.
DiscerningGent.com is now six months old. Where did the idea for the website come from?
It’s been an exciting (and busy!) start to 2016 for sure. The idea for DiscerningGent.com came about via Elysium Magazine. At the heart of everything we do is the audience, our reader – the discerning gent. What became obvious was the growing desire for additional men’s fashion and style content. Today’s man wants to look and feel good, a representation of how the men’s market in general has expanded.
While Elysium Magazine is broad in its approach to men’s lifestyle content across the full spectrum, DiscerningGent.com provides the vehicle to focus specifically on covering men’s fashion (formal, leisure and footwear), style (watches and accessories) and grooming (hair & skincare) in more detail and in greater quantity.
How does the content differ from Elysium Magazine?
For DiscerningGent.com the content is purely focused around men’s fashion and style. A big difference from Elysium Magazine is how content on DiscerningGent.com is highly visual and the copy is more punchy – reflective of the Instagram-esque society we’re all part of now.
I think the allure of Elysium Magazine and DiscerningGnet.com lies in how well we know our audience – the discerning gent – a man who is aspirational yet incredibly savvy about what he buys, where he goes or how he does things. Since the launch of Elysium Magazine in 2011, and now with DiscerningGent.com, we’re continually investing in really getting to know today’s discerning gent and how he prefers to consume content, which is reflected in the design of both sites – clean and slick.
Who is the target demographic?
The discerning gent of course! What I mean by that is the 20 to 44-year-old ABC1 aspirational male tuned into the latest in men’s fashion, style and grooming. He likes luxury labels but loves the high street stores and online – especially for everyday staples. He wants to look good in a suit – whether it costs £200 or £2,000. He can effortlessly move between formal and informal wear – and sometimes blurring the lines between them. He takes pride in his appearance and recognises the value in a personal grooming regime no matter the duration. Looking at it from this perspective, the vast majority of men probably fit within this audience.
What has the website’s traffic been like since launch?
Readership figures so far have surpassed even my own lofty and ambitious predictions and continues to grow. Again, this is representative of the healthy men’s market right now – all fuelled by a hunger to look good and a greater desire to inform their thinking than ever before – long may this continue.
What do you think of PRs? Do you enjoy working with them?
A loaded question! In a word, yes. A big part of what I do for DiscerningGent.com and Elysium Magazine is inform our audience about what should be relevant to him in his world. So anyone helping me do this is held in high regard. Since the launch of Elysium Magazine and now DiscerningGent.com, I’ve a great list of PR friends who have provided me with lots of opportunities over the years.
I’m always open to making more of these friends though, and if we can meet for coffee or breakfast/lunch to discuss ideas then even better as it puts a face to a name. This also means it’s much easier for me to spot the names of people I know – and who can provide the content I need – from an ever-expanding inbox!
How best do you like to work with PRs and brands?
PRs are often the gatekeepers to great editorial content – I want this for my readers so I’m happy to work with them. Whether it’s an initial idea that needs developing to suit the DiscerningGent.com reader or one that is fully formed and needs the right platform, collaboration between PRs and myself seem to work the best for our content.
This is not a one-off though, it’s an ongoing need and PRs can prove really helpful by providing the continuous content that keeps my readers engaged and hungry for more. Let’s meet to discuss, or at least have a chat about the opportunity you or your brand has and why it’s relevant to DisceringGent.com and see where it takes us.
Is there a difference in how you work with PRs over the two titles?
There’s no change in how I work with PRs over the two titles – the main difference being that I probably work with a greater number of PRs within one sector (fashion) for DiscerningGent.com, whereas for Elysium Magazine the sectors are more numerous but possibly not as in-depth from a contacts perspective.
What is the best way for PRs to grab your attention?
First and foremost, make the content relevant to Elysium Magazine or DiscerningGent.com. Go one step further and suggest which channel on either site your idea or content is suited to and I’m all ears. Emails are best because it gives me a chance to digest the idea or understand how we can work our angle. I do read all emails but it’s impossible to reply back with the volume I receive. Those that are relevant or key to our audience will generally get a reply back – even if not appropriate right now, there might be scope in the future.
What would you be interested in hearing from PRs in the future?
I’m interested in anything that could be of interest to the savvy and tuned-in male audience. Fashion and style from high street to luxury is a given, but access to shows, collections, and talent interviews are key priorities too. The latter aspect – interviews – is something I have my eye on for the immediate future as I focus in greater detail on personal style, so those PRs with access to male celebrities who are open to discussing their taste in fashion and style habits, please do get in touch. Other than this, take a look through the site and let me know if you have ideas for content or collaboration.
Amit was talking to Gorkana’s Jessica Lester