Women In Media: It’s The Urban List’s Susannah George

Women In Media: It’s The Urban List’s Susannah George
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Who better to front B&T’s Women in Media profile today than the fabulous director of city guide website, The Urban List’s Susannah George. Here, Ms George talks what makes the site a success, her media heroes and why it’s all about getting stuff done…

Culture is king in our organisation…
No one has ever been employed that we didn’t think was a strong cultural fit. The people that really thrive are those who are high energy, nimble…and overly optimistic!

We’ve become a pretty hot commodity so we need to be increasingly selective in who we choose to work with…
We’ve been growing really rapidly and winning that market share – it’s an economic equation, when supply is limited, demand is high. Developing really strong relationships is one of our core values; we’re much more interested in long-term relationships than switching out one competitor’s ad for the next. We’ve developed a list of qualifiers that define who we work with and at the top of the list is ‘innovators and creators’. We work with brands we can hand-on-heart endorse, who believe in the power of content marketing. People who understand the value of our work, respect our audience and who are equally committed to the relationship’s success.

As a marketer, I really love the challenge of delivering some of the strongest branded content campaigns in Australia and, if I’m being ballsy, the globe…
This truly is my dream job. I’m the director of a business that employs a team of incredibly passionate and talented people who make me laugh and enjoy coming to work every day; a business that creates content that I love to read; a business that drives traffic through the doors of thousands of small businesses, building their bottom line and contributing to the diversity and sophistication of Australia’s cultural scape.

What really drives and differentiates us is our team…
Every business has a secret weapon and for most digital start-ups it’s technology. We certainly have that, and we have a very compelling content strategy. But our secret sauce is undoubtedly The Urban List team. We’re in an age and stage where many media companies are operating very lean, outsourcing a lot of their core content creation activity. By contrast, The Urban List has invested in developing a deep stable of in-house talent, from content creation, to strategists, design and development. While the majority of local publishers rely on a portfolio of freelancers – certainly talented, but possibly not as unified when it comes to tone or expertise – we operate at the other end of the spectrum. When a business or brand works with us, they get access to our entire team. The same people who have built our brand from zero to 1.2million visitors a month in three years, collaborating to drive results for them with guaranteed outcomes and complete accountability.

I had the idea for The Urban List when I was 25, living and working in LA…
I was cross referencing about eight sites to try and find a hairdresser, a yoga studio or where to get a good margarita. There were directories upon directories but no one was filtering down to recommendations that were actually good. Everything was reliant on the lowest common denominator – user generated reviews – and I just didn’t think those reviews were necessarily reflective of me.  I needed a curated guide to the best in the city, a one-stop shop to optimise my life. I thought if there was a gap in the market and a need for that in Los Angeles, then there was a need for it everywhere. So I started working on the business plan and it took me about three years to get the courage to move back to Australia to do it.

I really admire what Tyler Brule has achieved with Monocle and Wallpaper
He’s a wonderful person. A lot of fun! I also loved Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and I live by one of the quotes from that book. There’s a poster behind her desk –  ‘Done is better than perfect’, which was a revelation and a revolution for me.

I’ve had a Post-It note stuck to my desk for years…
It reads, ‘a great leader is one who encourages others to lead’ – and I very much take that approach of servant leadership in our business.

Make sure you grab some tickets to the event here! B&T’s proud Women in Media sponsors include…

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