Introducing Primer, the online publication creating quality content for women

Introducing Primer, the online publication creating quality content for women

As our studio is full of clever, passionate and hilarious (self-proclaimed) women, we feel it’s vital to celebrate and promote the great work of International Women’s Day. 

Over the course of this week, leading up to IWD, we will be featuring empowering businesswomen from a range of fields, including finance, education, health, and social enterprise. We’ve curated a list of  incredible female role models and brands who put their values at the heart of their business and share them in a blog series, just for you. So, put those feet up, pour yourself that overdue glass of red and get ready to be inspired.

We sat down with Felicity – one half of the power duo behind Australia’s first digital media social enterprise – PRIMER. These gals know that an interest in fashion and beauty doesn’t preclude an interest in current affairs. And although most of us do love our weekly dose of reality TV, Primer has a refreshing take producing thought-provoking stories on the issues that matter.

Let’s dive straight in, shall we?

Tell us a little bit about the launch of your publication, Primer.

We’ve launched! We went live last Tuesday night, which was incredibly exciting (and also slightly nerve-wracking). PRIMER is a digital destination for Australian women – we publish smart, insightful and engaging feature stories, as well as beautiful fashion and beauty.  We’re also a social enterprise and deliver 50% of profits to women in need.

What is the main goal for your publication?

We have two goals. Firstly, to create engaging and entertaining content for women. We felt there was a huge gap in the market for smart, female-focused stories that weren’t just celebrity gossip. And we also wanted to make a positive contribution. There’s a lot of conversation about female empowerment, which is great, but we wanted to make a tangible difference (and connect brands who want to make a difference to women who share their values).

Give us a little insight into the type of content will you be sharing on this platform.

We run a wide range of feature stories by great writers – for launch, Clementine Ford wrote on the significance of Billy Porter’s dress at the Oscars, while Sharon Bradley investigated the rise of MS among young women, for example. We also had Hannah-Rose Yee road-testing ‘Face Gym’! So, a real range. Plus, we’re publishing really beautiful, but relatable, fashion and beauty stories – like, ‘One Woman’s Search For The Perfect Trench’, and reasons why you really should be using retinol. (Anna and I are both converts.) We want to run pieces that will make you think, laugh and say, ‘I totally get that.’ The quality of imagery is also really important to us, so we’re working with some amazing, highly respected photographers and designers (like Smack Bang!) to create thumb-stopping images that fit the PRIMER aesthetic.

Why do you think it’s so important to create quality content intended for women?

There is quality content out there for women but you have to wade through a lot of Kardashian to reach it. While most of us love a bit of reality TV, that’s not the only topic that interests us – we want to read female takes on politics, relationships, career and ambition, as well as the latest fashion and beauty products and trends.

What do you mean when you say Primer is a social enterprise?

Social enterprises are a relatively new concept – basically, they’re companies that exist to benefit the public and the community, rather than just owners and shareholders. There’s a great definition here. We describe PRIMER as a purpose-driven media company. Our aim is to improve women’s lives and being a social enterprise enables us to do that in a tangible way.

We absolutely love your pledge to donate 50% of profits back to women’s charities. Was this something you always felt passionate to share?

We’d both felt for a long time that we wanted to contribute to society in a meaningful way and both of us contemplated a career change a few years ago – I considered teaching for a while. But then we realised that perhaps we could use what we’re good at – storytelling – to make a difference, and that’s when we came up with PRIMER.

We love the analogy you use of a ‘clickbait cleanse’. Therefore we thought we’d pose the age-old question, social media – friend or foe?

Don’t people write entire theses on that question?! Social media is the most amazing tool for building community, connecting with readers, discovering and shaping content – we love it. But obviously, there’s a performative aspect that can be damaging, particularly if you start to believe that everyone’s life is perfect apart from yours (and ours are really not perfect).

Do you find it challenging to have a job that is still so interconnected with social media?

Anna is far more connected than I am! I don’t find it challenging, as I’m a total news obsessive and also intensely nosey – it’s one of the (less high-minded) reasons I became a journalist. Socials enable you to discover so many talented and funny people who you otherwise might not have stumbled across – it’s a lolly shop for writers.

This may be as hard as asking what your favourite song is. But, if you could have dinner with any woman in the world – who would it be?

That is a tough question! Probably Virginia Woolf.

Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?

I admire so many women but I think it’d have to be my mum – is that too predictable? After we’d all left home, she became a politician and threw herself into a completely different life. I really admire that.

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