We’ve all heard it before, Millennials are lazy and just want everything done for them. But if you look around, that’s actually not the case. Millennials are becoming entrepreneurs and starting businesses that solve everyday problems at a fraction of the cost. Not to mention, they are doing this with little to no guidance and killing the game. In the Millennial Spotlight Series, I’ve found career professionals, and entrepreneurs making serious moves. This week, we’re in New York City, with Public Relations Manager, Kat Cooper.
KAT COOPER: I’m Kat Cooper and I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but I now reside here in Brooklyn, New York. At PAPER Magazine, I am the Public Relations Manager for PAPER Magazine, papermag.com and all the affiliates and then ExtraExtra Creative, which is our production studio.
That’s impressive. What are your favorite celebrities that you’ve interacted with so far with PAPER?
Kat: Oh, man! I am always reaching out for something. Right now, we’re doing a video series called PAPER Penthouse, where we feature rising musicians and some big names! Reaching out for that, I do a lot of the partnerships with brands. I book the DJs and talent for our parties so, knowing musicians and plugging them. Favorite people I’ve interacted with, I would have to say, actually two of them were with H&M at Art Basel. One was Karolina Kurkova who was one of our hosts, at our dinner and she is super stunning and incredibly friendly. Like, very talkative. There was a point where I had to get back to work but she was so engaged in the conversation with me and so lovely and you just can’t tell someone of that stature to like, shut up! Like, I gotta go. So I didn’t stop talking to her for a long time, she was incredible. And, also, we had Nelly Furtado perform at that party, which I booked, which was awesome. And she was also just such a beautiful human. I don’t know if you’ve seen her now but she is just like all woman.
Kat: She’s just back in a big way. She has such beautiful things to say. She was down there and contributed to this art exhibition, and she was just telling me about it and how she created the sound that accompanies the art and I don’t know she’s just so cool. She’s a really talented artist.
Kat: She’s more than just the 2000s singer with Timbaland. She’s a real creative, a creative force.
So, I can’t breeze past your business plugs. When you book brands or you’re doing brand partnership, what are maybe three or four things you look for in a brand before you partner with them?
Kat: Well, for PAPER, they’re looking for someone who understands our audience and our corporate culture and want that to be a part of the partnership. You know, you don’t approach PAPER if you don’t want that cool factor. I mean, we’re very in touch with, I would say, more of the marginalized people than, you know, the mainstream. Like, we cater to LGBTQ and all the various minority communities. We’re very supportive of that.
Right. I definitely read PAPER monthly to see the editorial thoughts of celebrities that we don’t traditionally see in mainstream focused magazines.
Kat: Yes, that’s one thing. You have to have a brand that is open to working with minority communities as well. And we do work with large brands like Target and American Express. They actually do want to reach everyone in our inclusive company; that’s one thing that’s a huge factor. The next is obviously money. We are an independent publication, which close all the time. You know, magazines are shutting down so that’s a factor, you know, we’re not going to spin our wheels for nothing. I guess credibility of the other brand is a major point. Even if they want our
cool factor and have the money, it has to just align with us, you know?
Mhm. So do you guys look for micro-influencers?
Kat: Oh, yeah! On the other side with brands you know you have influencers and talent and everything. So we do a lot of influencer partnerships and from every level. With Reebok last year we had four different markets that we tapped into: Atlanta, DC, LA and Philly. And we worked with local creatives there and then, even further, we used their networks and would create content, would produce parties so, of course, yeah. On every level too, you know?
Alicia: So what do you guys look for in your influencers? Kind of the same with your corporate strategies?
Kat: Yeah, definitely. The influencers have to be a PAPER fit, have that feel, and then they need to reach the right people. It’s not all about quantity. I mean, it’s more quality. Like, your posts should be great. You should have a creative voice, you know? We still love people who have 1k or under followers. (laughs)
I was going to say, what is your look on people who don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers if they’re not like ten, fifteen or twenty k (sic), do you guys kind of look at the smaller influencers as well?
Kat: Of course, yeah, across the board. I mean, it really just depends on the project, on the brand and the goals you’re trying to accomplish. Some people really just want that wide audience and then other times it’s really about the aesthetic. It’s not necessarily about the social reach, it’s more about how it looks on our channels.
How does your work here at PAPER touch on what it is you want to do with your new brand? And tell us a little bit more about it.
Kat:I have this idea and domain for something called Shit & Such. And Shit is kind of this editorial blog page where I have a lot of different creative friends contribute to and, you know, it breaks down into funny stuff. Like real shit, funny shit, new shit. And Such is kind of the agency attached to it as well. So that will be my little PR group that represents my friends, who are stylists, photographers, writers, you name it. And, really, what I’ve learned from here is kind of how to marry doing your own editorial side and then also being able to create content for other people. So being able to make lookbooks and videos and digital campaigns for any client. And I want to do with really cool, emerging New York brands and designers.
Who’s your target audience?
Kat: I would say, my target audience are people who are in the know. I definitely want to hit, you know, the 20s and the 30s. It’s not mainstream but it’s creative people, anyone looking for inspiration or just really love the culture or the scene. It’s people who are driven by music and driven by art and fashion.
Okay so art, fashion and music. And when are you looking to launch?
Kat: I would love to launch by the end of this year. I want to have solid content before I blast this into the universe.
What type of content, for the Shit portion, are you looking for? Are you looking for interns or do you just want to start with your own mini group of friends that you know do dope shit?
Kat: A combination. I definitely want to start focusing on my friends and have them contribute as needed. But at the same time, I work with so many interns and really appreciate that support and I really try to train them and teach them. And so, I think I have a few interns that would be really supportive and want to work with me on this. So I look forward to having them from day one. And if I can be huge and successful and big and they’re there from day one, they’re in. It’s going to be a mix between minimalism and streamlined, and then a complete shit show. So that’s some disruption, but it’ll be clean (laughs) But I’m also a very cluttered person so there’s going to be mess, you know?