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Media interview with Amit Chakravarty and Sam Uppal, editors of Elysium

Launching a men’s lifestyle magazine has long been a desire of Amit Chakravarty and Sam Uppal, and has finally been fulfilled with the launch of Elysium. Seeking to enrich the lives of the discerning gentleman reader, the editors of this new online magazine are on the look-out for aspirational and inspirational content. Do you have a desire to inspire them? Read on to find out how…

About the publication:

What was the inspiration for starting Elysium?
Elysium magazine has been an intention of ours for a long time! We’ve both always been involved in men’s lifestyle media – either through working in PR/marketing, or as a consumer for many years – and have constantly had the desire to launch a men’s lifestyle title at some point. So when the time was finally right to create Elysium magazine we didn’t need to think twice. We wanted to produce a title that offered opinion for the discerning gent keen to enrich his life even further.

What kind of reader are you hoping to draw to the magazine?
Elysium magazine is aimed at the 24-39 year old male. This man is someone who is financially secure in their career but is ambitious to grow. He’s keen to enrich his life through the latest technology, travel destinations, and push himself through health and fitness goals. Inspirational stories and advice is another area that really motivates our audience. We wanted to present it all in a easy-to-digest format that’s also safe for work, family and commute (via mobile/iPad) environments as Elysium magazine should be enjoyed freely at any time.

What subjects and stories are you most interested in covering?
The website is essentially split into three sections which dictate the areas we cover:

Aspire – Features intended to inspire our audience i.e. profiles on inspirational individuals or campaigns that capture the imagination.

Desire – Coveted products and experiences that our audience want. Technology, travel, entertainment and food/drink pieces fit in here.

Achieve – Features around business and career advice, and sports and fitness features – all with the aim of helping our reader reach personal goals, with comments from experts aimed at adding to that knowledge.

What will make Elysium different from the other outlets in the men’s interest sector?
Elysium magazine aims to offer opinions that matter to today’s discerning gent; We’re not preaching to them, we know they are well informed. So what we’re trying to achieve is enriching their knowledge through practical advice and tangible recommendations. Elysium magazine’s opinions and content, together with the clean way it’s presented, are what we hope will set us apart from others.

How will you decide the features, news stories and interview subjects?
We work to an internal editorial calendar where features (within travel, business, technology, health and fitness) are based around seasonal hooks or regular feature scheduling. We try to keep news more current and flexible – being an online title means we’re able to be more dynamic and can adapt to any changes in the news agenda.

Will you plan any features far in advance?
Yes – we always have a number of features planned in the future. For some of these we will send out media requests to PRs for information, images or spokesperson content. Sometimes we will let PRs know about future features and inform them we’ll be in touch at the relevant times.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length?
We work closely with PRs for a number of sections within Elysium magazine. We understand the important role they play in supplying us with related content, or providing opportunities which we can develop into great features for the website and, ultimately, our audience. Even though we’re still in the early days of the website, we’ve already established some great relationships with PRs and we’re keen to grow this further.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Giving more thought to the content or ideas they pitch to us is an important factor. Knowing the target audience of Elysium magazine and then considering whether their idea/product/concept is related to this audience is a crucial step. With the website now live, PRs will get a better grasp of the content we do cover and hopefully tailor their pitches accordingly.

How should a PR approach you about their client?
Emails are always best as we can have a good read through the concept or product, and if relevant we can get back to the PR to request further details or highlight our interest. Taking a look through the website to highlight where the concept/product could potentially sit and why is a great way to showcase how they’ve targeted Elysium magazine with relevant content. Only occasions like a high-profile interview, or an exclusive feature on a short lead time would require the urgency of a phone call first.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Information that is related to the areas we cover is key, as well as great ideas for features or news stories within our three main sections. We also appreciate stunning imagery as the site is very visual – great imagery always gives a story that extra quality. Giving us advance notice of launches, interviews or press trips is great too as we can really plan around this and produce a great feature for their client.

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
We apprecaite PRs contacting us via email at any time – with Mondays and Fridays being the best days to catch us as these are the days where we plan short lead content across the week and for the following week, respectively. We have multiple internal deadlines so, technically, we’re always on deadline!

About you:

Describe a typical day at work: What are your editorial duties/responsibilities at the outlet (e.g. commissioning, subbing, features, interviewing)?
At this moment the majority of our time is spent on commissioning and editing features, reviewing content submissions and pitches, sourcing external comment/spokepeople and working on site functionality. We have also spent a lot of time with our audience attempting to seek feedback and suggestions on what men want and what we should provide on our site – this will be a continuous process as we always aim to to keep our content relevant and engaging for our audience.

What interests you most about your job so far?
Doing something you’re passionate about is always a good thing – we have so much passion and desire to get Elysium magazine off the ground and the great feedback we’ve been getting since launch has made it all the more worthwhile. Being part of an online magazine which is designed to put the male reader first is an exciting experience, while the variety of people we have met so far just adds to the feel-good factor. With new cultural and inspirational experiences on the horizon for Elysium magazine, these are exciting times.

No part of the job so far has been the same – that’s what keeps us buzzing about Elysium magazine!

Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
We have worked for PR and marketing agencies, fashion houses, specialist brands, private equity firms and regulatory bodies. Between us we bring a lot of different skills and perspectives together which make us a dynamic combo!

Do you tweet? Why, why not?
We love to tweet – we want to keep our followers engaged in what we are doing – tweeting is a great way to do that! Also, twitter provides fantastic information from our audience!

Follow us here.

[img|jpg|Amit Chakravarty and Sam Uppal ]

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