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Publisher Natasha Kraal, introduces her “star” team of BurdaLuxury editors in Malaysia, talks about the competitive media landscape and developing purpose-driven content in a multicultural market.
My team are true star editors, all widely experienced in media and yet with diverse backgrounds. They are redefining the role from when I started my career as the editor-in-chief of an international title more than 20 years ago, where it was about 500-page magazines, numerous print supplements, and ultimately newsstand sales. Today’s editors have a much broader role as the media landscape is constantly changing as it becomes more diverse and fragmented with new technology. They are responsible for setting the direction and crafting the identity of their titles, on all platforms from print to digital and social media, and are involved in the branding, management, and marketing of their respective titles.
Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur is more than a digital platform, it is an integral part of the diverse youth community. It's tagline "Access to the good life" is a genuine goal to inspire the aspirational market to strive for success, recognition, and enjoyment. At the other end of the spectrum, PIN Prestige has cornered the super-affluent Chinese-speaking market where the tight bond between the editorial team with their circle of readers, personalities, influential figures, and brand partners is phenomenal. The PIN community feels very connected and supported, and added to this is a strong charity angle with the “PIN My Love” CSR campaigns.
Our work is based on strong relationships and great connectivity with our partners, clients, and audience. The content is always creative yet relevant. And our events play an important role. For example, a major IP event such as Prestige Women of Power, celebrating 100 leading Malaysian women, is celebrated across many channels from a separate print supplement to social media buzz and a series of intimate empowerment events throughout the year. Another example is Augustman’s signature A-Listers. This is a nine-month personal development experiential programme for up-and-coming Malaysian men through curated experiences ranging from extreme sports to entrepreneurial workshops. Both Prestige and PIN also present annual black-tie balls, which are major highlights on the high society calendar.
Malaysia is unique from other Asian markets because it is so culturally diverse. We have three different language titles within BurdaLuxury Kuala Lumpur and a multicultural office environment. This only adds dynamism and flavour to the work we do!
Our editorial teams are super creative, good storytellers, and always on the pulse of the Zeitgeist. It's such a competitive industry – especially in the luxury sector – and our editors have to be true brand guardians and well-known personalities in the Malaysian media landscape. They have real connections to high-net-worth individuals and celebrities – who are also the readers and followers of our titles. This connection is one of the reasons why we can deliver unique content. Our editors always find an original way to localise big global trends to connect with our Malaysian audience.
Authenticity is key! For a young, dynamic brand like Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur, it's about having a diverse team that represents Gen-Z, and an editor who walks the talk. Martin Teo also knows anyone and everyone in the market! For Augustman, the camaraderie with real “Augustman men” through projects such as ‘A-Listers’ and ‘Men of The Year’ is outstanding, almost like a brotherhood. Tengku Zai, the new editor of Prestige, a young royal with 15 years of journalistic background, brings fresh perspective and strong connections to the luxury realm.
The luxury segment is very competitive, so the team has to literally “hustle” to get the best stories, client campaigns, and ultimately, quantitative, engagement. At the same time, the very definition of media has evolved with influencers becoming media platforms themselves, and brands working on DTC (Direct-to-consumer) campaigns. We have to stay on top of our game and move fast!
Synergy is essential. Success is palpable when we positively align energy, values and talent. The editors are always tributing their teams for the success of the brand and this recognition is the start of fostering a positive working culture.
We have two major launches in January 2024: Travel + Leisure Malaysia, and Lifestyle Asia in the Malay language. This is BurdaLuxury´s first venture into this market after ten years in Malaysia. We are also moving into a beautiful new office, in a brand-new tower located in an eco-focused business district, which marks a fresh new start for us. It’s going to be a very exciting and dynamic new year!
All the editors have extensive media experience and different academic backgrounds. For example, Elyza has a degree in Social Anthropology, Siow Wan has a degree in Finance and an MBA, and Martin graduated in Interior Architecture and Design. Perhaps I’m the only one with “classic” media background, with an MA in Journalism and a career in various media streams from newspapers to book publishing, and international magazine titles, for more than 25 years. This opportunity to move into this leadership role as Publisher at BurdaLuxury Kuala Lumpur is a real privilege, to further expand our presence in Malaysia with a suite of powerful titles while creating a positive and inspiring workplace.