Rachel Greenspan and Emily Long – Co-Founders, Quarterlette
By Amanda Belo
Everyone knows what their purpose in life is at 25, right? For many twenty and thirty-somethings, the so-called “best years of your life” are not always seen through rose-colored glasses. So many changes arise. Choices and decisions to make about life, identity, career and relationships present themselves. It can become overwhelming.
Rachel Greenspan felt this sentiment after she finished graduate school and had little luck with job hunting. The small light at the end of the tunnel appeared when she realized others her age were feeling off course and confused about life too. Her like-minded friend and colleague, Emily Long felt the void as well.
“I started researching online and realized that there was no real platform to address this life stage (mid-twenties to early-thirties) and provide a positive community for women where they could join forces and figure it all out together,” said Greenspan.
Fast forward to a little over a year ago, and “a simple idea over drinks” has become Quarterlette, an online publication founded by Greenspan and Long that serves as a compass for female twenty and thirty-somethings to make it through that quarter-life crisis.
Greenspan and Long describe Quarterlette as a community space for their readers, whom they refer to as “Quarterlettes.” They have pride in their publication’s uniqueness as one of the few platforms to tackle this particular period of life in a way that both writers and readers feel connected to.
“We built this platform out of an actual need that wasn’t being met –the need for someone, or something, to provide a little support, guidance and inspiration during this tricky time,” said Greenspan and Long. “Because of that fact, we were well equipped to have a good sense of what other women would want from a platform such as Quarterlette.”
As overseers of Quarterlette, it is beneficial that they are Quarterlettes themselves. “We’re still navigating our own quarter-lives, so we can relate to our writers and our readers on an incredibly personal level.”
This also serves well when it comes to the continuance of audience engagement. Greenspan and Long enhance audience engagement through social media and other digital tools, specifically Google Alerts. They implement this particular platform as a news gatherer and a way to discover new voices.
Additionally, through outlets like Twitter and Facebook, they find the significance in two-way communication and audience involvement in the conversation.
“We want to be more than just a website. …We hope that through this platform, women can learn from each other to help them navigate this stage. And we think by sharing each other’s stories we can help facilitate those connections,” they said.
Prior to Quarterlette, both Greenspan and Long had professional backgrounds in the communications field. Even though their schooling and work experience had been primarily marketing and advertising-based they expressed a longtime love for writing. Through agency work, they found a shared interest in the publishing industry while working on various accounts for print media clients.
“We both worked on the print team at a major media agency, so we spent a lot of time engrossed in the publishing world as well as their corresponding digital properties,” said Greenspan and Long.
It was as much of a work experience as an educational experience for the young women. The time spent in collaboration with marketing teams at publishing houses and exposure to the industry’s top editors was exciting and insightful. It truly gave them an inside look into the profession.
“Listening to how editors curate their stories and tailor their publications to reach their audience was fascinating. After some time listening and learning, we had a desire to create our own platform to tell the stories that we (and other quarter-life women) wanted to share.”
The ladies of Quarterlette are confident about the growth of this platform. In the future, they expressed engagement of their readers outside the digital realm into the real world through offerings of relevant lectures, workshops and events. The response from readers in the month since they have launched seems to reflect well on their goal of expansion.
Greenspan and Long relate to readers who have sought out a relatable platform such as Quarterlette, and also those who have been personally moved by writers’ stories.
“We’re down-to-earth, genuine girls. We’re not perfect, and more importantly we don’t pretend to be. When you build something that reflects your own personal values and interests, you’re capable of creating a much stronger product.”
Quarterlette is very open to communication and encourages people to reach out. With that said, Greenspan and Long expressed the importance of knowing the publication’s target audience.
“We love being pitched on stories, products or people as long those pitches are extremely relevant to the quarter-life woman and align with our mission of supporting, guiding and inspiring our readers.”
Greenspan and Long also added that ideas around personal connections and partnerships work well with what the publication. PR professionals and those interested in a contributor role should think more in terms of “how can we help each other” versus sending out a blast of “mass, impersonal e-mails.”
“We tell our writers that we’re pretty open to anything as long as it relates to the quarter-life woman and it tells a story. We really want our content to connect with readers on an emotional level. Regardless of the topic, we also encourage each writer to give our readers a personal introduction about themselves as well.”
Also noted by Greenspan and Long are the seven sections Quarterlette is categorized by: Propel (i.e. career, finance, education), Love (friends, family, romantic partners), Escape (health, wellness, style, beauty), Give (philanthropy), Narrate (staff personal stories) and Navigate (tools and resources).
Photo via Quarterlette Facebook.
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