Publication Profile: CNA Lifestyle

Publication Profile: CNA Lifestyle

1. As CNA Lifestyle celebrates its fifth anniversary, how has the publication evolved?
CNA Lifestyle was launched in September 2018 to serve as our readers’ guide for good living and a useful distraction on a busy day. We wanted to diversify CNA’s online content offerings by way of “lighter”, more evergreen content. We cover everything from wellness, food, style, travel and entertainment and highlight interesting people, businesses and trends.

The idea behind CNA Lifestyle was twofold. First, we wanted to give audiences a break from the oftentimes heavy-going and depressing news cycle with a whole range of content that’s meant to uplift and inspire them in their daily lives. Second, it was a means to introduce a “softer” CNA environment for potential commercial clients to come in, where lifestyle advertisements wouldn’t look out of place. We’ve managed to achieve both - we’re now a leading entertainment and lifestyle site for both audiences looking for their fix and advertisers looking for exposure.

We’ve had two big initiatives to date: CNA Luxury, which was launched in May 2019 to engage consumers who wanted tips for stylish, more luxurious living, and CNA Women, which was set up in June 2021 to cater to women’s needs and to cover issues specific to them. At the same time, we’ve continued introducing new ways of storytelling to adapt to different ways content is consumed nowadays, whether it’s interactives, TikTok videos or podcasts. We’ve also maintained some of our popular series, which have also been broadcast on CNA, such as Makan Kakis (in collaboration with GOLD 905 DJ Denise Tan) and CNA Luxury’s Remarkable Living. It’s been great that we’ve had some recognition for our works too - Remarkable Living has consistently won awards overseas and most recently, CNA Women’s podcast Womankind won at the w3 Awards.

2. What are some lessons you've learned as a team that might be valuable for aspiring journalists and media professionals?
Algorithms may change, but we will not lose sight of our mission to provide good, relevant content. We’ve never been about clickbait. We take a hard look at trends and think in terms of multiple formats - what would work better as a story, a video or interactive? How can we inject a bit of fun / positivity into the reading experience? Audience tastes and news consumption habits change, and we need to stay on top of that.

3. Can you share some insights into the demographics and interests of CNA Lifestyle's readers? How does this data influence the types of stories and content your team prioritise?
Our core demographic are PMEBs, men and women, between the ages of 25 to 49 - and we imagine them as people who are hungry for lifestyle and entertainment news. They want to be in the know, and they want to have fun. As for how this influences our content, it’s a fine balance. We cover a lot of things, so we try to be holistic and make sure there’s something for everyone. But through the years, we’ve also seen how certain types of content seem to resonate more, such as those on local celebrities, and health and wellness. Other types of content that do well are our house tours on CNA Lifestyle and CNA Luxury, which tap into the aspirational desires (and kaypoh-ness) of readers. And of course, we launched CNA Women knowing there’s a specific demographic with relatively untapped potential - and true enough, the stories have been some of the best performing we’ve had.

4. What are CNA Lifestyle's content pillars, and how does the team maintain a consistent voice or style across different pillars?
We have seven sections that cover just about everything: Entertainment, Women, Wellness, Living, Style & Beauty, Dining and Travel. (CNA Luxury’s four sections cover the same topics). We’d like to think of our style or voice as conversational, casual, witty, stylish and smart. This also translates into how we “package” our stories, from the headlines to the photos we use, and how we do our videos. That said, we have a mix of personalities in the team. We pride ourselves on giving writers and video journalists as much freedom as possible to express themselves.

5. What makes a story pitch stand out to the team? Are there any specific elements or angles the team looks out for?
We think in terms of utility and enduring value for the reader. So if a story has got an interesting hook and is something current and trending, we’re open to the pitch. But we are particularly interested in stories that could have relevance months from now. Like any responsible journalist, when we plan our stories, we ask: Will it be something of value to our audience? And by this, “value” can mean anything from helpful tips to time well spent reading a story or watching a video. Of course, if a certain pitch gets the whole team excited during our regular weekly meetings, that’s usually a good indication it’s worth pursuing. We are our first set of audience members.

6. Any advice for PR professionals looking to align their pitches with CNA Lifestyle's editorial style and audience preferences?
We welcome all sorts of pitches! The best advice is simply for PR professionals to familiarise themselves with our existing stories and various sections. As long as it’s a story that could potentially sit comfortably on our website(s), there’s always a possibility.

7. What's next for CNA Lifestyle as it moves beyond its fifth year and continues to engage with its audience? 
Look out for more useful, positive and inspiring stories. We’re all about being a valve for the reader. And we’ll continue being adventurous and adaptable, whether it’s discovering new approaches to storytelling for the audience or unique collaborations with commercial clients - it’s only been five years, the sky’s the limit!

Answers submitted by Mayo Martin, Supervising Editor, CNA Lifestyle. 

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