Giving more power to audiences has helped to build the female-focused Refinery29 while building a trust that benefits brands. But some marketers need to adapt their messaging in order to leverage that trust.

“They’re the boss of me,” Chief Content Officer Amy Emmerich says of the company’s audience, which Refinery29 says represents a global footprint of over 500 million across all platforms.

About 12 years ago, Refinery29 flipped the traditional publisher-reader business model to give the latter a far bigger role.

“I think there’s something about the way that old business works is that you need to own everything for yourself,” Emmerich says in this interview with Bee.TV. “I think we have done is shown the audience that they already have the power. We are here to serve it.”

Refinery29 does that by creating lifestyle stories, original video programming and social, shareable content across all platforms. “There’s about 13 channels that we create content for,” she says. “I think we’re at about 3,500 pieces a month.”

Emmerich joined the company about 18 months ago, with stints at Scripps Networks Interactive, VICE Media and Travel Channel under her belt. By that time, “The bond was already built” between the publisher and its audiences. “This isn’t something that happened overnight,” she adds.

Asked for her thoughts on conversations at the ongoing Digital Content NewFronts, Emmerich touches on brand partners and trust at a time when one is fervently seeking the other. For advertisers, it’s about how you message and what you’re messaging.

“What I was hoping that would come out today is that some of those messages have to change,” Emmerich says. “Audiences trust us and we want our brand partners to trust us that we can help. Because it only serves all of us.”

Doubling back on the word “trust,” she says “I think right now that’s a pretty important word that people are looking for.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.