From the creators of The Handbook, one of the biggest databases for celebrity contacts and your daily update of what’s what in London, comes a new website- The Earlybird. The Earlybird is a new way of keeping people up to date with what’s happening in this buzzing capital by sending out a daily newsletter.
We had our own little birdie to tell us what all the excitement was about in an interview with The Handbook founder, Elly Stancliffe…
Firstly, could you tell us the idea behind The Handbook, who came up with the idea?
I came up with the idea seven years ago. Essentially I wanted to create a resource that had all venues and events in one place but also a place where people could get key industry contacts such as celebrity contact details. We also have a diary with all the top London events such as press days, launches and premiers. It’s a place where people can get that information which otherwise is pretty difficult to source themselves and we have it all under one roof.
Can you explain the concept behind The Earlybird?
Since The Handbook has been running, people send us some really exciting venue openings, everyday we write about a new venue opening in London. A lot of people were sending us really cool stuff but some wasn’t quite right for The Handbook so for example a new pop-up cake shop in Pimlico. But because The Handbook is more for restaurants, bars and clubs, that kind of thing didn’t really fit onto the website. We wanted to keep the focus of this on The Handbook so we decided to create a new site which gave you that ‘one cool new thing’, something that no-one else has covered. The Earlybird sends an email with a cool, quirky illustration about what’s new and what’s cool in London.
‘One cool new thing’ a day sounds very competitive for people who want to get their news out there, how do you choose what you send out?
You can’t buy your way into that newsletter, so we get hundreds of emails each day and we go through and choose the best thing that interests us and what would interest our readers. We’re thinking about doing a blog on the site and covering some of the other stuff.
Talk us through about how you write about a new product or opening.
There are three of us that look through all the press releases each day and we schedule things for the following days. If we do send out a product we need to see what it’s like and try it ourselves before we can write about it. We want a lot of diversity on there: See, Buy, Do, Wear, Look, Eat are the categories. It’s hard getting it all done in time. Each feature has to have an illustration so we have an in-house illustrator.
Who are your target audiences for The Handbook and The Earlybird?
The Handbook is obviously very venues and events focused, so the audience are people looking to organize parties or find places to go out in London and who want to know about cool new openings. The celebrity diary section is for people who are organizing events and want celebrities there, they can also use the diary to check whether there are event clashes. A lot of the industry insiders use it: media press, events companies, PR and even just the general public who want to be kept up to date with events and openings.
The Earlybird is anyone and everyone, it appeals to a wider audience because the stuff is more affordable. Anything from the latest pair of adidas to something a bit more high-end like a new Mulberry handbag, but we also do a lot of quirky stuff. We’re trying to do a lot for smaller companies, we don’t want to just be writing about the big boys. We love small companies that come to us and want to launch a new product or clothing line. We ask them to come to us first even before the press release is written.
Get your daily London dose at the-earlybird.co.uk
Have a look at what’s happening on The Handbook at www.thehandbook.com