The fashion, entertainment and culture publication might not have been able to move so quickly to meet its partners’ deadlines if Paper hadn’t started returning employees to the office in July.
At least that’s the view of Tom Florio, founder and CEO of ENTtech Media Group LLC, which owns Paper. He noted that Paper had been working on a project with Google to create a “shoppable magazine,” which ended on his October 27th. Florio said Paper and Google have “50-50 ownership” of the project, but didn’t provide specifics. Financial terms of the transaction, or revenue share. Products featured in digital “magazine” images contain tags that, when clicked, link to a Google Shopping page where similar products can be purchased.
About 7 Paper employees at Google, 10 freelancers, and 3 leads (plus a web builder and social media team) worked on this project. Shopping trends for 2021. The 21 trends, including “cottagecore,” the rise of TikTok beauty, and 1990s nostalgia, were curated from Google search data and featured in digital magazines by celebrities and influencers such as Jennifer Coolidge, Bella Pouch, and Brettman Rock. interview was published. , Via, Low Roach.
Paper is best known for its flashy celebrity photo shoots and ability to grab attention on social media. Its “Break the Internet: Kim Kardashian” cover and featuring her story, which features Kardashian posing naked and holding her bottle of champagne, was announced in 2014 for the audacity (and controversial history) of the pose. It spread by word of mouth.
Florio told Digiday why he thought Paper staff needed to work together in his New York-based office to complete this latest project. Day will have to get vaccinated before returning to the office, he said through a spokesperson. All 18 employees are now vaccinated and are not required to wear masks in the office.
This conversation has been edited and condensed.
When did the staff return to the office?
We are back in July for a test run. It was insane how much we had accomplished together in July. I don’t know what this project with Google would have been if we hadn’t returned to the office. I have a young and creative team. This place really thrives on creative energy. It’s become really difficult to do that in a Zoom meeting. In September after Labor Day, I mandated that people be in the office three times a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.We can work remotely on Mondays and Fridays. I asked people who live outside New York to do their best to be back in New York by October. One or two were struggling with housing.
How did this project with Google come together?
This was born out of real interpersonal communication and engagement.It started with me and Stephanie Horton [director of marketing at Google Shopping], when we went out to lunch. She had no specific agenda other than listening to what was going on in her world and sharing her ideas. We sat down to eat lunch and talk about life and business. Sure, Zoom calls get things done. But what you don’t have is interpersonal communication like you do in real life.
What specific things have you been unable to accomplish remotely?
The most beneficial thing about us being physically together was the conception and development, and the very rapid evolution of ideas, which was rapid. We have the head, the finance person, and the marketing person. The way we solve problems and implement ideas together goes faster together. If someone has already joined the Zoom call and you can’t meet them until later, you’re not asking them to join the Zoom call.
One of the things that was very important about this particular project was that the timeline was very short. The idea was presented to him in late July and got the go-ahead in early September. [The deal was signed in early August]We are agile because we were together and we were able to evolve this idea together. No one is reading emails next to a Zoom call, and no one is looking down at their phone with a text. We were able to come up with these ideas very quickly, vet them, spend the money, put everything together, make many changes, get approval internally, and get approval from Google. It all happened because of interpersonal communication and our relationships.It was both verbal and non-verbal.
What can you do remotely and efficiently?
In action, there were advantages to being in the office as things change quickly, but that could probably be achieved from another location as well. After that, you can get to work onboarding, and you can do it over a Zoom call. People who work with papers are here. Here is the staff. The editor-in-chief was working in Los Angeles at the time, but he flew to New York several times. Not all freelancers are here. [The editor-in-chief relocated to NYC last week].
How did you decide to ask people to come to your office three days a week?
I needed to reinvent myself culturally so I decided on 3 days. I’m not going to tell you to come five times a week. I didn’t want to experience culture shock. I wanted people to come and understand what it feels like to be with other people. On the first day we returned, people just hugged each other and were happy to see each other.
I chose Monday and Friday for a reason. Sometimes you just want to sit down and knock out your stuff without being called into a 24/7 meeting. But when you come, you have to come. I expect my subordinates to be present at meetings, not just in the office. Everyone looks pretty cool about it. I didn’t have any backlash about it.