You may have heard the announcement that Daily Candy is closing. I remember my first experience with Daily Candy. I was a just-out-of-college junior level marketing associate in New York City, and (I’m dating myself), Facebook, Twitter, and any other now ubiquitous social sharing sites and online sites like Foodler, Yelp, and others were in their infancy, if even in existence.
Any advice I got about cool new “stuff” in NY came from my tight knit group of (not “real” New Yorker) college friends and new colleagues, and that small network, in a city as huge and exciting as New York, just didn't have the scoop.
A friend discovered Daily Candy and invited me to sign up, which I eagerly did, and Voila! The doors to “cool” New York swung open. Every morning I looked forward to my Daily Candy….awesome designer sample sales, hip new tapas joints to visit, funky little yoga studios- there was no news I wasn’t thrilled to read and share, and I was not alone. Daily Candy exploded, not just in NYC but in Boston, Chicago, LA, Miami and “Everywhere.” The country was Daily Candy-fied and it was intoxicating. I checked Daily Candy before traveling to other cities; I “shared” my Daily Candy-fed insight about what was worth checking out. Daily Candy really was like a trusted born and bred New York friend who knew the ins and outs. I loved it.
I was curiously saddened to hear of the news of its closing, with Daily Candy’s last day being Friday, April 4. Though my life has changed quite a bit since those first sugary years, I still enjoy my “candy,” and I still frequently hear from clients that Daily Candy is a top-tier goal for my media relations work. The times I've gotten the attention of a Daily Candy editor for a story I’m pitching, I was knee knockingly thrilled.
I've watched Daily Candy change and grow over the years, with the development early on of “sponsored” candy living alongside the editorial candy in my daily email updates, and now the most recent look which is a brightly colored, busy world of slideshows, headlines, celebrity gossip, decorating and kid-focused articles. I have to say, thinking about it, that I miss the original format quite a bit…
Perhaps what I miss is that one, precious, singular item deemed the most share-worthy by a trusted arbiter of cool that day, in “my” city. Today, there are so many sites that are food/fashion/fun focused, so many pretty pictures to look at and share. In my job as a PR pro in Boston, I spend hours every day combing the news and catchy, entertaining, lifestyle focused Web sites, many of them seemingly inspired by that friendly, yet slightly gossipy voice, the fast track to the “inside” that Daily Candy writers did so well.
I've noticed that among others, Refinery 29 and Bustle.com are two sites that are taking on the sisterly tonality of Daily Candy, while more topically focused sites (particularly foodie sites like TheDailyMeal.com) have city-specific features frequently. But, so far, no one has quite mastered the city specific insight that Daily Candy has done so well.
So, what am I taking away from this? I know from the value I took from Daily Candy emails was that literally almost every day, the content shared with me was of specific interest to me. (You’re welcome, credit card companies of my youth!)
Daily Candy’s model proves that highly customized content is king, and that to get my clients ink I need to be sure that the editor I am targeting is researched fully. Building long media lists and sending out dozens of “tweaked” emails to those lists, hoping for a bite is a waste of time. My clients are much better off, and media is much happier, when we work together to identify top targets for our pitch and then take our time in developing the story along with the editor. Smart PR strategy is grounded in flexibility, patience, collaboration and a sophisticated understanding of the media outlet and editor and why the pitch makes sense for his or her focus.
As PR pros, we know the media clutter out there, and we know that there is more content now than ever. Those of us who are shifting to adapt to that use laser focus to ensure our client’s stories are successful and get the attention they deserve. And, beyond media relations, we need to work in social media plans to meet our client’s targets where they are when they are most receptive. Good content can cross any media barrier, but the key is, make it good.
Daily Candy, I thank you for helping me navigate NYC (and more recently, Boston) with fun and with the confidence of having the inside scoop. We had some really good times.