Saunders said the dedication to improving society helped the young startup gain a foothold with customers. But they had to provide quality lifestyle content and coverage to accompany their social responsibility efforts.

“More and more people want to invest in brands – and that includes media – that share their values ​​and stand for something,” says Saunders.

Primer produces journalism for fashion, beauty and current affairs. It covers everything from styling hacks, modeling agencies changing the face of fashion, to social housing.

It has around 40,000 unique users each month, with a weekly newsletter audience of 5,000 and an open rate of almost 40 percent. Earlier this year, Primer was accredited as a news media organization by the Australian Community and Media Authority under the Australian News Media Tariff Code earlier this year.

But it faces competition in its field. There are many media outlets that specialize in content for women; Including Mamamia, Refinery29 Australia and Popsugar. There is also competition from traditional magazines such as her former employer Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar.

Felicity Robinson, co-founder of Prime, says gaining accreditation under the News Media Tariff Code was a defining moment for the start-upCredit:Chris Hopkins

Saunders and Robinson use what they have learned in various journalistic positions in the UK and Australia, but have made several changes to the way they conduct things that they believe are different from others. Primer eschews celebrity gossip and his fashion stories don’t use models. It also writes solely about ethical purchasing decisions. And for an online publication, its functions are long – sometimes thousands of words. Contributors are an important part of the publication’s coverage.

“We have fashion and beauty, but we also have these really strong news-based features,” says Robinson. “That was very important to us, because anyone who is interested in fashion and beauty does not rule out an interest in current events.”

Unlike many online publications that rely on display advertising or subscriptions, Primer doesn’t make its money out of it. Instead, it generates revenue from what it calls “integrated editing” – when brands pay to publish the content. This month the publication will also launch a content marketing studio focused on building campaigns for premium and luxury brands.

With six children between them and a live interstate, Saunders and Robinson struggled to find a way forward in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. They thought about cutting costs and doing more work themselves. But with news consumption reaching all-time highs during the extended blackout periods, Robinson and Saunders are now confident that they are ready for the future.

“It was super stressful because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” says Saunders. “The initial instinct was to cut back on the expenses and try to do as much of the editorial work as possible. But actually we got through it very well. People are now hungrier for content and people are on their devices all the time. “

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