Interview: Jeralyn Gerba

Jeralyn Gerber runs the New York City edition of DailyCandy, the wildly popular female-targeted e-mail newsletter focusing on fashion and happenings. She spoke to PRWeek about how she navigates PR and content.

Jeralyn Gerber runs the New York City edition of DailyCandy, the wildly popular female-targeted e-mail newsletter focusing on fashion and happenings. She spoke to PRWeek about how she navigates PR and content.

PRWeek: You deal with a lot of PR people— what's been your experience with them?

Gerber: I see, I hear, I talk, I toast with PR people pretty much everyday. The best relationships I have with PR people are developed with publicists who really understand the brand, who are clearly first and foremost readers of DailyCandy. And that’s when it’s easy to make a connection with someone. The biggest error PR people make when contacting us is that they’re unfamiliar with the fact that we are a daily e-mail newsletter that is intent on uncovering the latest trends for our readers who are savvy, intelligent, witty, and know what’s going on in their city.

When PR people don’t realize that DailyCandy does not have a spring issue because we publish daily—that’s when we can run into a tough spot. When there is a PR person who really gets it and saves their breath for the right product and doesn’t bombard the editorial team with whatever client they’ve got on their plate, that’s when we can form a good relationship and make some magic happen. We have a lot of good relationships with PR firms.

PRWeek: What is the demographic of your readership like?

Gerber: DailyCandy reaches women and men who are in 20s and 30s who are interested in keeping their fingers at the pulse of the city.

There’s something for everyone who considers themselves mindful, and interested, and involved in the city that they live in.

PRWeek: Do you have a lot of online competition?

Gerber: There are a lot of Web sites who try to create products that are similar to what we’ve been doing for the past 7 years, but technically I don’t really see anyone as a competitor.

We speak to a large group of women and men who are so incredibly loyal in a way that I’ve never seen in any kind of print or online publication. It just seems that the content, for some reason, really resonates with them. The response that we get when we put out a story and the response we get  from emerging designers or stores who say that DailyCandy people come into their stores or restaurants with literally holding DailyCandy print-outs—it’s a loyalty I’ve never seen or heard of in any other form of media. We just stay true to what we set out to do and we’re always looking for content first, to make sure that it’s worth your while to read, and also nothing that’s too heavy that you can’t put it away to begin with the rest of your morning

PRWeek: How competitive is the space?

Gerber: I’ve seen, even in the past year, especially in New York, many publications popping up because many print magazines are closing down. People are now saying that “We should get our Web site up and rolling.” Luckily, we’re kind of ahead of the curve because that was our only intent from the very beginning. We don’t have this ground zero effect where we have to scrap what we’ve known and start over.

DailyCandy has always been a daily e-mail newsletter, delivering information in short, concise, loaded bits—which is really great because only now do we see publications and new publications trying to do this exact same thing that we’ve been doing all along.

PRWeek: What’s the content of your publication like?

Gerber: DailyCandy covers new things happening in fashion with emerging fashion designers, openings of boutiques, restaurant trends; new things happening in developing neighborhoods-- we love to focus on creative things people are doing for the first time—people who might have a passion to make bags, or produce wooden carvings, or to make some kind of visual art. Maybe before they didn’t have the means to do it full-time, and we get to meet with them and cultivate a relationship, and then promote them editorially, and it really gives them a chance to do what it is that they’ve always wanted to be doing. It’s awesome; it’s the best part of the job, to be able to talk to someone one day and say “We’re going to put out your story tomorrow” and the next day they’ll call us and say “Wow, now I can quit my 9-5 job at a paralegal and bake cupcakes full-time.” We cover local happenings, like local bands playing, and things happening in art, and theater, in our Weekend Guides, which is a popular feature of DailyCandy. We get to cover a lot of interesting things that are going on.

PRWeek: What’s the best part of your job?

Gerber: The best part of my job is definitely being able to really support an emerging designer or creator or artisan in doing whatever it is they want to do, and being able to support them first and help them blow up their career. It’s just the best feeling getting that phone call after a story goes out, where they’ve gotten so many e-mails, or orders, or people calling with inquiries and it just kind of blows their mind. We have this incredible, loyal readership who really trusts in what we say and is really curious to find out about whatever it is we’re covering that day or that week. It’s just amazing to see the whole process or discovering someone and writing about them and launching them into whatever it is they want to be doing.

PRWeek: Any advice for PR folks who’d like to see their clients mentioned on DailyCandy?

Gerber: The most important thing for a PR person to do is to become familiar with DailyCandy, and to surf the site and be comfortable with the content that we’re producing already and figure out which of their clients they could really see being featured. Obviously, the focus is always on something new and undiscovered, something that you would want to read about even if you weren’t the publicist for the particularly client. I always like to put myself in the position of the reader even when I’m writing, and I think it’s important for the PR folks to do that as well. If they weren’t actually covering this client or working for this client, would they want to read about what these people are doing in DailyCandy? I think that’s a good benchmark.

Name: Jeralyn Gerba

Outlet: DailyCandy

Title: NYC Editor

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