Ask an Expert: Building Buzz at an Industry Event

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Brandusa Niro is editor of The Daily, the gossipy glossy newspaper started by IMG in February 2003 to chronicle—and promote—Olympus Fashion Week, which is produced by IMG division 7th on Sixth. With its brightly colored graphics and gushing style, The Daily has become the default read for fashion folks passing time between shows. This spring, Niro will help launch a similar publication for the Nasdaq Open, a tennis tournament also owned by IMG.

Why do you think The Daily has been so successful?
The business strategy of it is that it addresses an audience that is so brilliantly targeted. We deliver the eyeballs and the mind share of this fantastic group of influencers and opinion leaders. That's something that advertisers truly understand and appreciate. As a result of that, we have a 97 percent return rate from our advertisers, which indicates how healthy this publication really is.
How do you recommend staffing a publication that runs only a few times a year?
We have a core staff of 24 people here [that runs the Web site and special publications that come out between each Fashion Week], which always gets greater during the season because we hire freelancers and help.

How is your profitability?
This has been a profitable publication from the very start. It was clearly an idea whose time had come. Not one copy of this magazine is lost on someone who isn't exactly what the advertiser wants for that particular buy. So it's truly a very clear-cut investment.

Your articles are funny and tongue in cheek. How do you come up with your ideas?
We're really in touch with our reader because we are our readers. So you apply what you know and the people that you're surrounded with.

You have a pretty irreverent tone. How do you keep it fun without upsetting people?
I don't think we've ever been mean, we've never been nasty, because we love the designers, we love fashion, and we love the people behind it. We're a love-fest. Yes, we're irreverent, we're self-deprecating, and we mock ourselves, just as much as we may mock something funny or cute or interesting that may happen. Negative isn't who we are, it's not how we think.

Would a version of The Daily work for a trade show?
I think the idea of a paper for a weeklong event or anything that takes a few days is always something that can be successful. We are not a trade show publication. But if you were to do something on a smaller scale, focus on the insiders at the event. It would be different, but it certainly could happen.

What are your tips to develop something like that?
Find your business model first—make sure you get advertising. You can always create an exciting publication for any group if you know the group and what they desire, what they love, and what they're obsessed with.

—Erin Parker
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