Jules Pearson, co-founder of London on the Inside, reveals why she set up the title, what its new “Heroes” campaign is all about and how she likes to work with PRs.
What led to you deciding to co-founding London on the Inside?
The name and original idea behind the website was that everyone who contributed to it worked in the industries they wrote about – not professional journalists but people on the inside writing about things they were essentially experts in.
The website became so popular it was hard to keep up working full-time and running it so we now have a small team based in Second Home who run it day to day, whilst I still contribute to it on top of my day job.
What are the main areas you cover and do they always need a London focus?
We cover anything interesting happening in London – from food to pop-ups, festivals, clothing but we also know that our audience love to travel too so we do cover interesting destinations in the UK and all over the world.
We also have a style section which looks at global brands, especially those with a sustainable ethos as our readers have a strong interest in brands which are doing their bit to help save the planet.
You’ve just launched the “LOTI Heroes” campaign, can you tell us about what it encompasses?
The campaign shines a light on the people disrupting London in a positive way. It’s a way to showcase the great work these people are doing and help them raise awareness.
The campaign is split into two parts, the first is 25 of our favourite people doing good in the city with the option for the public to submit people to make up the second part of the list so that in the end we’ll have a stellar list of 50 people.
We thought it was essential to have our audience contribute to the list as there’s so many unsung heroes out there who don’t get enough recognition for the work they do.
What was the inspiration behind the campaign?
The inspiration was because we, as a business, want to do better. We are aware that everyone needs to do their bit and we feel by helping raise the awareness of alternative options, whether it’s ethical fashion or zero waste restaurants, this will inspire more people to make a few small changes that have a big impact.
Hopefully it will also encourage people to spend money with these businesses who are creating change. We’re seeing a big trend in people “buycotting” – that’s spending money with business to create change, rather than just boycotting bad businesses.
Is your audience generally situated in London, or are your readers spread a bit more widely?
The majority of our audience are Londoners but we do have 20% which are located worldwide – mostly in NYC as we have a mini New York hub within the site.
What is your relationship like with PRs? How can they best work with you?
I have amazing relationships with PRs who are honest and upfront and that’s the way I like to work. I prefer not to be called, and as I do look at every email, if I haven’t replied it means it’s of no interest – no matter how many follow-up emails you send.
There are too many PRs these days who insult your intelligence by coming up with BS and, having been in the comms game myself for 10 years, I know how it works.
Finally, what’s next for London on the Inside?
Well we launched Brighton on the Inside last year so continuing to push that – we’d love to expand to other cities one day and we’re working on an interesting print product to hopefully come out later this year.
We also launched our “Yes Chef” podcast this year and there’s another London focused one in the pipeline. We’re also creating some super cool music walks around London with Apple. We’re still only a team of three so that’s probably enough for now!