Telum Talks To... Ming Sze, Editor-in-Chief, MetroPop
Could you share with us the positioning and editorial focus of MetroPop?
MetroPop is a free culture and lifestyle magazine that provides weekly spotlights of cultural activities and all-rounded lifestyle and shopping trends. The topics range from film, music, exhibitions, live shows to fashion, beauty, food and beverage, travel, home and gadgets. MetroPop advocates the importance of the texture of life, not only being materialistic but also enhancing the quality of life wisely. We believe green living is definitely a new normal nowadays.
To provide a split-new experience to our readers, MetroPop will enrich green living content in the “Green D” section with a double-sided cover design in the second half of 2021. Other than weekly local culture news, we will also cover more green ideas in daily life.
What has been the biggest change faced by MetroPop throughout the years?
To be fair, we need to keep up with the pace of change. MetroPop started when magazines were in their prosperous period. We quickly became a sensation after making a debut. It was the first free magazine distributed in MTR stations and the first magazine focusing on cultural content at that time. Developing online content is necessary to stay relevant. To survive, we need to manage our online platform to go along with the magazine.
However, I don’t think we should only focus on the digital world and sacrifice print, as print media has its own advantages. For example, the smell and texture of paper are irreplaceable. Yet, time waits for no one; we need to keep improving ourselves by making good use of the Internet to foster the development of MetroPop.
Any top tips for PRs if they want to strengthen collaboration with MetroPop in the future?
Health awareness is always a hot topic, together with the sense of environmental protection and advocation of green living. Therefore, apart from our main focus on local culture, we would like to enhance our coverage of green living. We are looking forward to maintaining collaboration with PRs to craft cultural and lifestyle content and receive more green living-related materials.
What is your day like as Editor-in-Chief? What do you want to achieve by the end of each day?
Apart from the daily meetings for brainstorming and coming up with the editorial focus of the day, we also need to monitor what is trending. We look at related data such as SEO (search engine optimization) and search engine keywords, among other things. As I manage the online platform, I often act as a stockbroker and come up with story ideas based on what readers want, working against the clock.
Publishing and receiving news in the cyber-world has never been easier. However, it also means more efforts need to be put into a piece of work, as competition is fierce. Therefore, it is all the more important to understand the preferences of readers to create content that is well-received both in print and online.
You have spent most of your media career with magazines. What are your thoughts on the future of magazines?
As mentioned above, I agree magazines should be complemented by digital content without a doubt. I believe magazines and print media will not be eliminated, but only the fittest will survive. The end of a magazine is always the beginning of a new one. As long as the readers still love the texture and smell of papers, there is a market for magazines.