Meet the team: Claire Finneran

Time Out's new Branded Content Editor loves art and footy in equal measure. Here she shares her Sydney tips – and her tips on creating engaging commercial content

Claire, what’s your perfect Sydney day?

I live in Campsie, the best suburb in Sydney for eating and drinking on a budget ($5 schooners all day every day from the Oasis Hotel, see you there), so a perfect day for me in my area is easy. I’d start by getting a little fluffy doona of Afghan bread with lamb from Afghan Sufra in Lakemba, pick through some cheap plants and veg at Campsie markets, then take my Blue Heeler puppy for the run of his life at Henson Park in Marrickville. Of course, scarfing a plate of garlicky pipis at Marrickville Tennis Club with a Rabbitohs game blaring in the background is a mandatory cap-off. I’m also pretty active in local art and music communities, so I’d see a show at Firstdraft, Artspace, Knulp or MCA and watch some mates’ bands at the Gaelic Club.

But, if I am having a flush week, I’m a sucker for a buffet. Ideally I would push the boundaries of all-I-can-eat seafood at InterContinental or Harvest at The Star. And I’m a country gal at heart who still loves being a daggy tourist, would splash some cash at the Sydney Aquarium, a Sydney Opera House show, the AGNSW bookstore, Circular Quay opal shops (seriously) and I hear there’s a buffet at the top of the Sydney Tower that rotates. Sponsor me!  

What made you join Time Out?

I was the Managing Editor of a national network of city guides called the Thousands that unfortunately closed. Not because of me, I promise. Luckily, our current Global Engagement Lead, Alyx Gorman, was sniffing around my social media streams and plucked me from oblivion. After working in a very small team I was beyond keen to join the big collaborative network of Time Outers. The Time Out editorial team has been such a nurturing and stimulating pack of legends and that is why I’m still here two years on.

Who are your Sydney heroes?

I was a visual artist in my formative Sydney years so my heroes are my network of mates from that time doing cool stuff around town now: Kate Jinx, the programmer for Golden Age Cinema, performer Hossein Ghaemi, Sophia Kaplan from Plant Supply, comedian Zoe Coombs Marr, fashion designer Gemma Threadgate, everyone in the band Orion, hairdresser and party purveyor Nina Metta Ratsaphong from Extra Silky, electronic music mentor and activist Del Lumanta, and my sister the best painter in Sydney, Emma Finneran (she takes commissions).

What was the last bit of culture you loved in Sydney?

I do a lot of things! I guess the most recent was spending a week being hugged by a warm cinema at Sydney Film Festival. I'm also very passionate about the live music that still exists in this city. I think lockout conversations have pushed those who are actively playing shows in to the peripheries. My mum always says “don’t grieve something if it’s not dead” and live music is still here – we just need more participants, rather than eulogies. So I make sure I put my coin into weekly shows at Gaelic Club, Lansdowne, Marrickville Bowlo, 96 Tears – heck, even the hardcore scenes in Valve Bar are still eviscerating ears and souls, so get into it.

Do you have a personal motto?

“Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.”  

A good Time Out campaign should…

Inspire people to get out and experience the city, ideally. But, it can also inspire people to think about going out. That’s OK too: no pressure. A good campaign brings opportunity and fun to the forefront of our reader’s minds.

Good commercial content should…

Harness the passion and interests of our readers without condescending to them. We aim to make commercial content as captivating as our editorial content and hopefully, in the near future, to surprise them with a few tricks up our sleeves.

What are your tips to making content sizzle…

My tip: be honest. Nothing’s hotter than transparency right now. We have a savvy audience and their children are only getting savvier, so let’s show them what we’ve got and entertain and inform them while they’re here. I also love the Time Out editorial tone, it’s affable and accessible, and I think speaking like a human gives our content the spicy edge. Here’s an insanely popular example I cooked up last year.

What’s floating your boat right now?

I am absolutely loving bringing my varied interests and knowledge to the commercial team. As the newly minted Branded Content Editor I’m getting to workshop a lot of content ideas with account managers and it’s been a lot of challenging fun. I hope our boat continues to float with the various inflatables I’m blowing up with ideas.

Plans this weekend?

I’m going to see my friend’s band, called the Baby, on Friday night, then I’ll probably watch a Bunnies and/or Newtown Jets game. It’s also the last weekend for the excellent gallery-spanning exhibition The National, so I’m going to try to smash it at MCA, AGNSW, and Carriageworks over two days.

Claire Finneran is Time Out’s Branded Content Editor.

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