Focus Interview with Daniel Sharp of Lusso
This week, FeaturesExec interviewed Daniel Sharp, founder and publishing director of Lusso.
Sharp set up his own company with two friends and launched Lusso in 2004. Lusso is a quarterly magazine aimed at high net worth individuals, covering topics such as business, design, property, sports accessories and fashion. The magazine focuses more on entrepreneurs and business men and women than it does socialites and others. Lusso is published by SWR Media Ltd.
About the publication:
What makes you different from the other publications in your sector?
We’re one of the only independent lifestyle magazines that has been running for this amount of time (nearly three and a half years now). We’ve developed a great relationship with our readers and we’ve changed and altered the magazine carefully and skilfully over that time to eventually reach the quality of publication we have at the moment.
What stories are you most interested about covering in the magazine?
Obviously anything relating to luxury lifestyle. We’re spending time and effort currently really researching and discovering the hidden gems out there. Places, items and services that aren’t so well covered but are a true definition of what luxury lifestyle is all about.
How does the editorial process at the magazine run? Do you have specific days when you focus on different aspects of the magazine (e.g. features on Mondays, News on Tuesdays, flat plans Fridays etc) or is the planning of the magazine conducted on a much more ad-hoc basis?
It’s extremely ad-hoc, we’re a small team (one of the reasons we’ve managed to stay around for so long) so everyone pitches in and works on different areas of the magazine. Sometimes we’re extremely busy and hard to get hold of, but at least you can talk to whoever picks up the telephone and know that they’re actively involved in producing the magazine.
What information/input from PRs is most useful to your magazine?
As a small team it is great to be able to work with PR companies when organising features, trips and photo-shoots. It makes it possible to put together interesting and exciting articles without needing to spend days looking into all the different travel partners and options. PR people are also usually well connected and great to bounce ideas off.
What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Email us, include images (photos are so important to us), and be up front and blunt about what you are and aren’t willing to do… can we try something, see something, go somewhere.
Do you have a PR pet hate?
Yes, it can get quite frustrating when PR people contact us about their clients who aren’t relevant to the magazine at all. If you are unsure, send an email, but if we don’t get a chance to reply then it’s likely we don’t think it’s relevant.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
For features and trips, the sooner the better. We don’t start work on an edition until the previous one is released, so if you call us the day you receive your copy that works best. For news and reviews, the later the better – ask us what week we’re going to press and track someone on the team down the week before that.
What are your editorial duties/responsibilities at the magazine (e.g. commissioning, nibs, subbing, features, interviewing etc)?
David (Walston, the editor in chief) and I work on commissioning and organising the bigger features. Everyone chips in with the reviews and travel pieces. David handles the columns and I handle most of the creative things such as photo and fashion shoots.
Describe a typical day at work.
Long. I start around 9am and finish anywhere between 7pm and 11pm at night. I spend most of the day on emails and on the telephone to people so I don’t actually manage to get much ‘work’ done. When the team start to leave and the phones stop ringing I can write, plan the issue, come up with ideas and angles for features and read some of the more important emails from the day.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I worked at another publishing company in the Midlands, that was my first experience of publishing and I loved it. A few years later I set up my own company with my two partners and we launched Lusso magazine.