In the first month of the new year 2021, Telum Media caught up with John Ng, the Group Editor of Men's Folio Malaysia and L’Officiel Hommes Malaysia who began to oversee L'Officiel Malaysia as well, effective 1st January. He shares how the magazine titles rode through the storm last year and continued to remain one of the numero-uno magazines in the publishing industry.
Tell us more about your current role and how do you wrap your mind around all of these three titles?
In brief, my role requires me to head Men’s Folio Malaysia and L’Officiel Hommes Malaysia while overseeing L’Officiel Malaysia. Whether it is one title or three titles, I always believe that nothing can go wrong so long as you understand the essence of your brand inside out - and then it is only a matter of working with a team that you know you can trust.
As the readers’ mindset continues to change, especially since Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, how do titles like Men’s Folio Malaysia, L’Officiel Malaysia and L’Officiel Hommes keep up with such a transformation?
If you have a look at our websites and social media platforms, you’ll notice that they are healthy and continuously making progress in the right direction. In fact, we have been aggressive on the digital front even pre-Covid-19, so for us now, it isn’t so much of adapting to the speed of the transformation but more so on forecasting what is next. Additionally, last year, we made a concerted decision to collaborate more closely with our local talents all over Malaysia across all our titles for both print and digital, which really worked out to our advantage.
How do you differentiate in categorising print and digital content?
In the most general sense, print content is permanent while digital is instant. You don’t need me to tell you that reader behaviour has evolved ever since the uprise of the digital age, which in turn, has prompted us to be more creative in the way we deliver information, in the way we present our art.
Last year, we saw some print publications suspending their issues or going fully digital. Men’s Folio Malaysia, L’Officiel Malaysia and L’Officiel Hommes are the very few not affected much and especially in terms of publishing frequencies. Share with us how you guys managed to tackle the challenges?
One thing that must be said is that: we at Heart Media are of the opinion that print and digital aren’t mutually exclusive. They have their own sacred place in the market that is irreplaceable. When the pandemic hit, with prudence, we proactively took control and made calculated measures in tackling the challenges head on before they had the chance to grow into overwhelming predicaments.
How can PRs work with you to create a win-win situation for everyone? What topics interest you and your team most?
Simple: understand our brands and directions. When in doubt, ask for our media kits.
What is on the cards for Men’s Folio Malaysia, L’Officiel Malaysia and L’Officiel Hommes this year?
When everyone is playing safe, we decided to make a big, bold move recently by launching Men’s Folio Vietnam (mensfolio.vn
, @mensfoliovietnam) which turned out to be a huge success. Do expect to see more collaborations among L’Officiel Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand, demonstrating how we are the most integrated network across SEA amongst all fashion titles, not forgetting talk-of-the-town events such as Penang Rendezvous. There are seriously so much in the pipeline for us for 2021 that it’s impossible to list them all out here. Stay connected and informed by visiting our websites (mens-folio.com.my
) and following us on Instagram (@mensfoliomy
What are three must-haves for every gentleman’s closet?
A plain white shirt, slim-cut blue jeans and at least a pair of designer sneakers.