Telum Talks To... Tara Sobti, Society Editor, Tatler Hong Kong
Could you introduce Tatler Hong Kong and your role with us?
Tatler creates immersive experiences in luxury lifestyle editorial, providing an insider’s perspective on success, power, achievement, and showcasing innovation and thought leadership. We aim to inspire and entertain our audience touching on every aspect of life among Asia’s most influential. I am Tatler Hong Kong’s Society Editor, or as I like to call it, the ‘people’ person, working on the monthly flagship title as well as on the digital platform.
How do you spot the right topic or people to cover?
The section of the magazine that my stories live in is called The Scene. The Scene truly is the essence of the magazine, giving readers a look into the lives of not only the older generation Tatler community, but also those who we consider to be our growing list of New Asia members. These stories embody our pillars of power, influence and style and give our audience insider access to the most fabulous, and also the most important events happening in Hong Kong. Every mover, shaker, entrepreneur or philanthropist you see in these pages is there for a reason, because they are doing something to push our community forward, whether in food, fashion, art, culture, or science.
Having moved from public relations to journalism, what has been the most significant difference to you?
I was in PR for 5 years before I joined Tatler and it took me a while to adjust to being on the other side of the fence. It still feels strange when I get pitch emails or small treats sent to my office, since it was the other way around for so many years. I can’t tell you how many press kits I’ve packed or how many follow-up calls I’ve done in my time. I’m grateful for it though, as, it’s given be a very good sense of the commercial side of our industry.
Now, my job is to report on things. I’m writing more than I ever could have imagined, and that too, under the helm of the incredible Eric Wilson, who pushes us to be better every day and gives us the creative freedom to pursue stories we really care about. I’m learning to find my own voice and getting to work with the most driven and forward-thinking people in the industry from writers, photographers, creative directors, and ad executives who bring the magazine to market each month is a real privilege.
You have also had to relocate from Dubai to Hong Kong. What is the one thing that has impressed you most so far?
Though Dubai and Hong Kong seem different to some, I’ve actually found a lot of similarities between them. There’s an energy and hunger to “make it” in both cities that I haven’t felt anywhere else. Everyone here and back home are on a mission to be the best versions of themselves, and are willing to put it into practice in their work. The eating out culture, the nightlife (pre-pandemic, of course), and the social scene are similar too. I’m constantly impressed by how much there is to do and see here. Every time I feel like I’ve seen everything, there’s 50 more things I’m told to explore. I’m a Dubai kid through and through, but I’m really enjoying getting to know Hong Kong better.
As a former PR professional, any tips for PRs to collaborate with you?
Having worked in PR for so long, I have such a soft spot for any PR requests that come my way. I understand the hustle of it all. I think what sets a good email pitch apart from the rest is when the PR professional has really researched the magazine, and they’ve tailored their pitch to Tatler, with a clear idea of why they think the story would be a good fit and where in the book they actually see it running. Exclusive angles are always appreciated and most importantly, just be polite. Kindness is everything and email etiquette goes a long way.