Our COPRA Cares social media programme has been running since 2018 inviting our sponsors to share their thoughts and of course to answer some crucial questions relating to our ever-increasing industry.
Please introduce yourself
Suzan Antonowicz, Head of Beauty & Lifestyle, Evening Standard .
2021 has been another challenging year. How has it been for you and your business, and how have the recent challenges reflected in your business decisions?
If this year has taught us one thing, it’s that nothing remains the same, and we will all be challenged by continuing shifts in our business. As a publisher, like COPRA members, we have had to evolve and adapt the way we operate, taking on more of an entrepreneurial start – up mentality. We have adopted a digital first strategy, and introduced a suite of branded content solutions, as 86% of our traffic now comes from UK mobile and tablet users. That said, The Evening Standard newspaper very much remains the gateway to the brand, and has valiantly published every day since the pandemic, despite supply chain issues and rising paper costs. Like so many businesses our readers and their communities are the lifeblood of our brand and we will continue to adapt our product to be relevant and of the moment.
Can you share any new initiatives you may have introduced?
Beauty independents were the star performers of last year, and with one third of staffers wanting to quit their jobs in the next 12 months and start up their own businesses, SME’s could increase from 1.1 million to 1.5 million. They are the backbone of this City, which is why The Evening Standard is launching SME XPO, a networking event, at Olympia, London, May 25 &26, where 150 SME’s will be represented and some 120 speakers will offer 120 hours of learning on investment, scaling up and sustainability
With more than one in five young Londoners seeking work finding themselves jobless, a rate six times higher than the national all-ages rate, The Evening Standard has launched Skill Up Step Up with Barclays LifeSkills, which is helping disadvantaged youth get onto that all important first rung of the ladder. We can’t let our city’s disadvantaged youth fall through the cracks. They have so much to offer. We all must ensure that nobody is left behind, and that our new generation of talent is supported. We’re pleased to share that since launch, almost a dozen employers, from Ottolenghi to Compass Group, have so far pledged to hire 119 disadvantaged young Londoners who have been up-skilled by Springboard, one of the charities that is being funded as part of the £1M campaign.
Also our beloved ES Magazine, turns 35 this year and has had a little zhuzh, courtesy of our new Editor, Ben Cobb. Like London, the relaunched magazine will be exciting, loud, fun, provocative, opinionated and full of characters. Not just part of the conversation, it will drive conversation. It will set the agenda for London with world-class journalism, innovative stories and inspirational style, and continue to be the pulsing force of the Capital.
Our industry is dynamic and extremely rewarding, it is also a great career choice. What do you think is an important quality for those thinking of looking to start a career or move over to the beauty/retail sector or any associated business servicing the beauty industry?
We're used to the new normal by now, but it's likely to change again just as quickly. Resilience, adaptability and curiosity will be essential survival skills to navigate a career path to success. Those who are curious about the world around them, can easily adjust to new things thrown at them, and they will then have the resilience and grit to overcome obstacles and win.
COPRA is very dependent on its amazing sponsors, industry supporting brands. How is COPRA important to you?
COPRA’s DNA of building careers, promoting creativity and driving social change, is akin to The Evening Standard’s core values which is why our partnership is a credible one. ‘Community’ and ‘Care’ have never been more important but they have been part of COPRA’s conversation for over three decades proving they are trail blazers for enforcing positive change and a continued force for good. Vive COPRA!