Telum Talks To… Darren Teoh, Publisher of The PAGE《商页》

Telum Talks To… Darren Teoh, Publisher of The PAGE《商页》

Tell us more about The PAGE《商页》?
We felt the need to provide the local Chinese business community with a leading progressive business source, offering unique editorial vision towards leadership stories across different business sectors such as banking, management, commercial, consumer, hospitality industry and real estate, presenting the latest industry news, trends and developments.

In the world of new business thinking, The Page《商页》business lifestyle magazine is served as a trusted source for business portfolios, news, features, blogs, newsletters. We publish personal interviews from the real-life achievements of entrepreneurs from companies across the local SME and industrial spectrum. In our "Focus" segment, we bring the readers up-to-date comment and advice from professionals in their field on the hot topics of the day.

Entrepreneurship is all about stories. We want to promote the stories and journeys of new entrepreneurs and successful entrepreneurs who have fought the good fight through the start-up challenges to success. We aim to bring people and resources together to help native businesses thrive, encourage, and strengthen native business relationships among the entrepreneurs in Malaysia and even worldwide business markets.

Walk us through your experience in the media industry.
With 19 years’ experience under my belt, I have a strong background in advertising and marketing. I started my media career in 2002 with and BusinessToday as an Advertising Sales Representative, responsible for leading sales campaigns, I gained a lot of advertising and marketing experience in the media industry. 

My prominent experience as the Head of Sales & Marketing in Catcha Publishing (now known as Rev Asia) and SPAFAX (an international content marketing agency) always helps to bring a fresh perspective to the table. In 2017, Dato Chua Meng Min and I co-published The PAGE《商页》, a Chinese business lifestyle magazine that covers all aspects of SME in the Chinese community, to help and promote domestic enterprises.

Why would you still want to publish print publications in the digital age?
With the advent of the digital age, The PAGE《商页》has launched a digital version supported by website / social media to provide information to readers in a faster and more convenient way. According to the history of media development, the new media has never completely replaced the traditional media. Radio has never replaced newspapers, television has never replaced radio, and cable television has never replaced wireless television. 

Magazines represent not only information, it is a very complex product comprising art design, text and a special touch of paper material; which can never be replaced by any new media in the near future. The production of a magazine requires careful analysing, writing, editing, printing and distributing, which cannot be achieved by the new media. Traditional and new media do not have to go head-to-head. Both mediums can actually be used together to make any advertising campaign stronger than ever. Traditional and new media can complement one another, with each playing a vital role. They should co-exist. 

You have spent most of your media career with magazines. How have you noticed your content and audience change over the years?
Technology has been changing our reading habits and content delivery. However, most people still consume information from both print and digital. Print is usually the medium of choice for deep reading and analytical thinking, while readers prefer digital media for light reading, skimming, and tasks such as note-taking.

The PAGE《商页》currently publish bi-monthly. How does the team prioritise content with only limited space available?
Due to the limited editorial pages, priorities are always given to advertisers and clients. Our focus is about getting stories right, creating really great premium content that advertisers will pay for. Association of your brands with magazine content are not only brand-safe but brand-enhancing. Articles are one of the easiest ways to help businesses gain attention. Through articles, you can regularly share some useful and valuable information with your customers and help enhance the brand image.

Every issue, we have to always reserve at least 1/3 of the pages for our regular business content such as financial management, start-ups, trends and leadership. These articles serve as accessible sources of small business advice and motivation. We have taken the understanding of why our readers are attracted to us.

How can consumers subscribe to The PAGE《商页》?
The PAGE《商页》is a bi-monthly publication that is available to read for FREE at many public places such as Starbucks nationwide, San Francisco cafes nationwide, selected office towers, hotels and business lounges. Delivery to your doorstep can be arranged. Just get in touch with The Page via email, Facebook or WhatsApp, we will make arrangements accordingly. Postage charges incurred. 

How should PRs work with you to create a win-win situation?
We need a business model that sustains the magazine and still allows the content to be free to the public. Content marketing is a way to promote a win-win collaboration between us and PR. Many brands are using print magazines as a way to engage customers in the offline world. Customer education, retention and brand loyalty are the primary reasons brands are investing. We provide the story formats for topics that are important to customers. Essentially, content marketing strategy offers a unique way to solidify its relationship with its audience while building brand equity. Undeniably, magazine content is more likely to be trusted by the reader. 

Complimentary print media needs advertising revenue to survive, so to benefit more readers and to make sure our content made its way into the hands of people who really needed it. We always welcome PR to work closely with us, and to work out win-win collaborations that benefit all the parties - media owner, PR, advertisers, and readers. 

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