Continuing our series ‘Meet the journalist’, we met Isla Cooper for a coffee and got the low down on new Edinburgh lifestyle magazine Opulence. We talked about her journey from law degree to a magazine start-up and what she thinks about the industry today.
What do you read / where do you get your news (not your own)?
“I read a real range of content, but I always prefer to pick up a hard copy of a magazine. What’s not to love? The glossy pages and vibrant colours are always so tempting. For concise updates on current affairs I have a subscription to The Week. For lighter reading Vogue is my usual go to.”
How did you get in to journalism?
“If I am honest, it was mostly by chance. I am a Law student who was bored of writing formally with so many constrictions! I have always been creative and wanted to try something new. I have a lot of love for Edinburgh and so an Edinburgh lifestyle magazine seemed most fitting.”
Best career advice you have ever been given?
“Be patient. All you can do is chip away at your goals.”
Advantages of a good journalist / PR relationship?
“It’s great to work with PR’s, as there is always something we can do to help one another out!”
What challenges do new start publications face today?
“As we all know everything is going digital and this makes it difficult to break into print publishing. The web is a great movement, but do we really want to lose the magic of picking up a magazine?”
How do you prefer PRs get in touch with you? (e.g. Email/phone/in person/Twitter)
“It’s always nice to have a coffee and a catch up with any contacts.”
What stories / angles are you looking for?
“We are always looking for personality-led content and something a bit different. Opulence strives to have an insider feel.”
As a new entrant in to the world of journalism and PR, what has surprised you most?
“The fantastic people in this industry who have been so willing to help me as a new business have surprised me most.”
How did you come up with the name Opulence?
“I wanted something that sounded striking and plush. There are so many opulent experiences to be had in Edinburgh and I want to showcase them.”
Any advice for graduates in your position?
“Nothing is permanent. Do not overthink the decisions you are making because you can always change what you are doing if you are not happy.
“Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and it will all work out in the end.”