How does the founder of Man of Many, Frank Arthur, stay inspired and what does he look for in a PR pitch? We sat down with the industry award winning publisher to chat how he’s building community in 2022 – and the strangest thing he’s Googled for work.
F: You’re the founder of Man of Many – what have been some of the pivotal moments in your career that have led you to this point?
FA: A stand-out was the moment I decided to quit my previous job and leave my career in product design to focus full-time on Man of Many. After four years and many long nights working on the publication as a side project, it became clear Man of Many had potential for significant growth. But to take it to the next level we needed more time to work on it. My business partner, Scott Purcell, and I decided to take the leap and jump.
Another would be Man of Many’s winning streak at a number of industry awards in 2021. These included Brand of the Year, Newsletter of the Year and Consumer Publication of the year in the Mumbrella Publish Awards, as well as ranking in the SmartCompany Smart50 List and the AFR Fast 100.
We were up against names from some of the large incumbent media companies. As a small-sized business that remains independent, it was phenomenal for us to be recognised by the industry. We’ve always known we have an incredible team but for them to be recognised in a broader way was really special. They’ve put in so much hard work over the years and really doubled down during a time that has been uniquely challenging for everyone.
F: How does Man of Many continue to stay relevant, particularly during times of great uncertainty and change like we’re currently experiencing?
FA: It’s doing what we’ve always done — listening, understanding and responding to the needs of our audience. That’s how we’ve built and sustained a loyal readership who trusts our voice, and it’s ultimately how we’ve been able to move through the changing environment driven by the pandemic.
F: What do you look for in a PR pitch? How can PRs get through your inbox clutter and impress you?
FA: We receive hundreds of PR pitches daily so we can’t cover everything—but to give yourself the best chance of cutting through the inbox noise, it’s vital your pitch is relevant and aligned to what we typically cover on Man of Many.
We’re also always on the hunt for experts in their respective fields who we can quote in our content.
F: How are you taking your digital brand into the physical space in 2022? You’re launching a whiskey and Man of Many merch, why do you think this is an important step?
FA: In 2022, we’re focusing on creating community and moving beyond just editorial. We’re working towards this by hosting regular events with our loyal readers and partnering with exciting brands on Man of Many exclusive product collaborations.
We’re also continuing to grow the online Man of Many Shop by adding more brands and products that resonate with our audience.
F: What are your thoughts of gifting from PRs? Do you receive a lot of product and how does this impact your reporting?
FA: Yes—we do receive a lot of product gifting. However, like all pitches, our Editorial team reviews each of the products to determine whether they’re relevant to our audience.
Of course, it’s much easier to gain an understanding of a product when you have it physically in your hands over just viewing an image of it in a press release but it’s not the determining factor as to whether or not we cover it.
F: How do you continue to stay inspired?
FA: It’s pretty simple for me— I get a lot of inspiration from witnessing how we’ve built an audience who genuinely enjoy the content we publish.
I also get a lot of energy from our team—everyone is so passionate about what they do and bring so much energy and enthusiasm to every day.
I find it really motivating to see the professional growth of individuals in our team. For example, one of our team members Denise Barnes who started with Man of Many five years ago as an intern, was a finalist in B&T’s Women in Media Awards in 2021 and is now our Head of Branded Content. Last year, our Editor-in-Chief Nick Hall won B&T’s Best of the Best Journalist of the Year and our Senior Sales and Partnerships Manager Tim Fernandes won Mumbrella Publish Award’s Salesperson of the Year as well.
F: What digital publishing trends are you most excited about?
FA: It’s always fun to explore new media formats. We’re one of the first digital publications in Australia to integrate an audio playback feature within all of our articles. We’re also going to be ramping up our video content and hiring an in-house video content producer and launching our podcast.
These trends are exciting because they provide our audience with different options as to how they choose to consume our content.
F: What was the last thing you googled for work?
A Google image search for ‘fish with human teeth’. Try it—it will make you laugh and give you nightmares.