connect / 2019
The Editorialist LA
With this grant, we can finally turn The Editorialist LA into a central, digital guide to Los Angeles that covers food and nightlife, shopping, fashion, beauty, fitness, activities, and everything in between with a face that people can recognize and trust. This support would allow us to expand our content offerings and relaunch the business to focus even more on Los Angeles and highlight our local businesses. We are also planning to create a digital video series focused on Los Angeles, with each episode exploring a new neighborhood, business, restaurant, activity, local figurehead, social service, and more.
Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.
I’ve always heard that Los Angeles is a “superficial” city—one that is “devoid of all culture,” existing solely for the rich, famous inhabitants and those vying to become them. Visitors flock to LA from all over, in search of a grandiose sense of glitz and glamour that left town a long time ago and maybe only ever existed on film. But that’s the problem with calling something superficial; those who do are guilty of the very sin themselves, as they have not put in the effort to dive beyond the surface to discover what lies beneath.
In reality, LA has a deep, grounding culture that lives beneath that shiny surface. It’s the lifeblood of the city, flowing through LA’s streets, crashing on our sandy shores, seeping out of the cracks in the sidewalk, expanding outward into the suburban sprawl. Our culture is a mishmash of moving parts. It is simultaneously elusive but still easily identifiable and strangely palpable, as if it lives in the rays of the sun or the cool ocean breeze. As full of contradictions and complexities as the inhabitants of the city themselves. And it is a culture that I strongly felt growing up in the Valley. This culture was the connective thread to my parents’ childhood neighborhoods. To my grandfather’s time at USC and his offices in Hollywood. To my Great Aunt’s boutique in Beverly Hills and her meetings at Canter’s Deli. To the homes in West LA where my parents lived when they met volunteering for the local City of Hope chapter. This culture has not just been the lifeblood of the city, but it runs through my blood as well.
In 2014, I returned after earning my degree at Washington University in St. Louis to find a city that had transformed. Once classified as a black hole where culture goes to die, Los Angeles had gained acclaim as a food, fashion, and creative oasis. We now had a thriving and well-respected restaurant scene with some of the best up-and-coming chefs in the world, and an equally thriving art, fashion, culture, and start-up scene. This culture had always been there, but now it was out in the open, and others were finally starting to see it too. I believed the city boasted incredible untapped potential for content, so I launched my media company, The Editorialist LA.
Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?
- Attendance at cultural events
- Attendance at public/open streets gatherings
- Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- East LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- City of Los Angeles
How will your project make LA the best place to connect?
If I receive this grant, I plan to drastically expand my content offerings, site capability, and company as a whole. First, I would redesign, rebrand, and relaunch my website and social media channels to be more LA-centric. The brand message will be clear; we are a local media company for millennials, and the one-stop-shop for all things Los Angeles culture. Next, I would hire some much-needed help from a Creative Director or Content Manager who can run the social media channels, and create more Los Angeles content, like neighborhood guides, local business features, and more. Additionally, I’m already looking into working with a large media company to produce a web series about Los Angeles, where I host guided neighborhood tours, restaurant visits, sit-downs with local business owners, and more. Currently, there are few people creating consistent video content about Los Angeles as a city, and I believe bringing a personal, human perspective would fill a much-needed gap in the local media space. Finally, I would launch an e-commerce platform to sell LA-made goods, as well as a reservation system to book restaurants, activities, and experiences while reading about them. My intent, through capturing a larger audience and creating more content, is to create a go-to media source for millennials encompassing everything they could possibly want to know about Los Angeles, but in a way that is enjoyable, palatable, and easily digestible.
The population being served by this project is mostly targeted at millennials, especially young women. But really, this project is for all Angelenos. Los Angeles natives, tourists, or people from all over who have moved here in the hopes of pursuing their dreams. I want to explore all this city has to offer, from the hottest new bars for 20-somethings to the hole-in-the-wall taco shops to new restaurants that families and people of all ages can enjoy.
Los Angeles is a city full of so much potential, but one of the hardest adjustments for residents to make is connection. Connecting to each other and the city itself. Sifting through information about the city is like trying to find a needle in a haystack that is over 500 square miles large. There are already so many cultural events to attend, local businesses to support, and things to do, and there are even more media sources that list out thousands of pages of overwhelming information. It’s hard to not become paralyzed by the sheer amount of choices. But I want to make that information not just more readily available, but more easily packaged for a younger audience with a smaller attention span, and with a recognizable face that audiences can connect to. The goal is to create ONE go-to source of information that is highly curated, personal, and up-to-date, allowing Angelenos to finally cut through all the noise and find what they’re looking for: things to do, ways to connect, how to support local businesses and restaurants, etc.
In what stage of innovation is this project?
Expand existing program (expanding and continuing ongoing successful projects)
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
I will define and measure success by both qualitative and quantitative measures. The first is a qualitative measure of content; once we are able to redesign and relaunch the company, I will measure our success by the quality of the content we are now creating. Neighborhood guides, restaurant reviews, travel guides, video content, photo content, social media content will all need to improve. Second, I will define and measure success by a few quantitative metrics. The first is content output– namely, how much more local content are we creating with the addition of new employees, freelance writers, editors, etc? I will be setting goals to create consistent content in the categories I defined above (and more), and how much of that content I should be producing per day, week, month, etc. Second, I will define and measure success by our audience metrics. I will take a look at our web and social data to see how the content is performing, how many more audience members we are acquiring, if our newsletter is expanding, how many more social media followers we’ve gained, etc.