August 28, 2023
Luxuria Lifestyle interviews Cleo Anderson of The Anderson Media Group
Luxuria Lifestyle is thrilled to be invited to interview Cleo Anderson, described by some as a ‘titan’ behind her PR business The Anderson Media Group. Cleo recently won ‘Broadcast Media Host and Producer of the Year 2023’ in the Influential Businesswoman Awards 2023 for ‘Wanderluxe with Cleo Anderson’ for LUXE.TV, let’s find out a little more about this impressive TV personality and media mogul:
LL: Firstly we’d like to offer our huge congratulations for this huge accolade. Tell us a little about yourself, your background and how you got to where you are today.
Thank you so much. My career started in PR. I own The Anderson Media Group, an exclusive boutique PR agency that operates in the luxury lifestyle sphere, and as such we work with luxury brands including high-end hotels. My expertise in the field of luxury travel now spans over a decade and as a result of my work I was approached to develop, co-produce and host a luxury travel show for LUXE.TV. That’s how ‘Wanderluxe with Cleo Anderson’ was born. It’s such an honour to win an award as a result of the hard work that went into making the show happen, so I appreciate your kind words.
LL: How did you become involved with LUXE TV and Wanderluxe?
I was actually approached on LinkedIn by someone at the channel and I mentioned that I had always dreamed of having my own luxury travel show – after a few conversations my idea for a pilot was born and we filmed the first episode in Athens, Greece soon after.
LL: You’ve recently visited St Barth’s in the Caribbean, you said it was the most chic island on Earth, what made it so?
St Barth’s is an iconic location and has a long history of attracting the jet set – it really is a jewel of the Caribbean. The island is pristine and lush with beautiful beaches, but you also have fantastic shopping in Gustavia and some really wonderful iconic landmarks in terms of eating out and places to stay. I had some wonderful times at Eden Rock, spent some amazing hours on some of the landmark beaches, and filming there really was a wonderful experience.
LL: Your job is a dream job I would imagine, where next for Cleo Anderson?
There are still a lot of places on my bucket list both personally and professionally. I definitely want to visit Bora Bora. New Zealand is on my wish list too. Interestingly, because I travel so much I spend less and less time in the city I was born, so I think that showcasing London in a different light would be amazing for the show. I would love to film an episode there sometime soon.
LL: You say being awarded this amazing accolade has broken barriers in a number of ways, can you elaborate on this?
Wanderluxe is the first show of its kind on LUXE.TV, meaning that it is the first live show dedicated to travel that has been co-produced with an expert in luxury travel. I am also the first black woman to be doing a show like this within the luxury sphere, and the key is that I’m not just hosting the show; I am co-owner of the show and I am also producing the show, which means I am a lot more involved and invested in making it a success. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me.
LL: Who or what inspires you, do you have an ‘idol’ in the travel industry?
I wouldn’t necessarily call her an idol but I did used to watch Judith Chalmers on Wish You Were Here when I was younger growing up in the UK – I loved watching her discover new beautiful places around the world and I thought she had the best job!
LL: Have you always been involved in the world of luxury?
I have always been involved in lifestyle PR – the luxury lifestyle and luxury travel developed within the last decade. As an agency we have worked with high-end interior designers and architects, high-end food brands, skincare, fashion, and more.
LL: How do you see your career evolving?
Right now, both managing a PR agency and hosting and producing a luxury travel show are things I enjoy immensely, so I see both of these things growing and developing. On the PR side, we are always looking to work with clients who are a fit for the agency. On the TV side, I am looking to develop more shows, perhaps in the US.
LL: What does a typical day look like for you?
The wonderful thing is there is never really a typical day. When we are not filming things are a bit more regimented. I’m an early riser, usually up before 6 am. The first thing I like to do is have a strong black coffee – then I know my day has started. Typically, I will start work between 8am and 9am – I go through the to-do list with my colleague, and we will set out the things that have to be done that day. There are a lot of deadlines in PR, so usually if we have a press release that needs to be sent on a certain day for example, it has to be done without fail.
During the rest of the day, we are liaising and fielding emails from clients, journalists, and potential clients. These emails vary from organising a press trip, interviewing a potential client, ensuring journalists have high-re images, and talking to a hotel about an upcoming visit. It could be a number of things.
Usually, I am working until around 4/5 pm and I’m really conscious of responding to personal emails within a timely manner – it is an ethos we have within the agency. If I’m filming, things are a little bit different as it involves travelling to the location and ensuring that we have shot everything we need to for the episode. We will always have a filming schedule in place before the shoot begins and there are lots of decisions to be made. For example, which outfit suits which scene? I have to be familiar with the information I will be saying to the camera, we have to ensure that the various scenes (sometimes they are shot back to back ) run on time, etc. Although we may be filming in beautiful locations there is a lot of work that goes into making an episode happen and, usually by the end of a week-long shoot I am exhausted.
LL: What has been your favourite country to visit so far and why?
It’s really difficult to choose one. I recently visited Canada for the first time and I really like Toronto as a city; it has a really nice vibe and is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Although it is a bustling city, you also have the water and green spaces – the people are really friendly and polite to interact with, too. I love Marrakech; it’s bustling, busy, and I enjoy the food and the people, plus it gives me an opportunity to speak French throughout my entire stay. Mauritius is another favourite; I love being in the sun by the beach, it always feels safe, and the people are lovely.
LL: What to you makes a hotel, resort or villa luxury?
I think that there must be a degree of personalisation – that’s what makes people feel truly welcome and seen. There also has to be attention to detail; beautiful design and aesthetics obviously play part but really it comes down to the people and the staff. The question I always ask myself when I leave is how did they make me feel? Did they take my personal preferences into consideration? Did they give me a special experience that I would want to experience again? All of these things play a part when I consider true luxury.
LL: Where would you like to visit that has evaded you so far?
Definitely New Zealand. I will definitely visit soon.
LL: How do you feel about social media, do you use it?
I love social media – I think it’s a beautiful way to showcase locations. I have to admit that I am more invested in having these experiences than documenting them as much as I would like.
LL: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Doing more TV work and developing a show that people within luxury travel really want to be a part of. I would really like to develop an iconic show that people want to be involved in.
LL: Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
I think it’s important for people to really focus on what they want their life to be and not to be afraid of what they need to do in order to nudge it into existence. It’s one thing knowing what you want your life to be, but it’s important to take the steps to make it happen. Nothing can happen without making that first step. Right now, I would say that I’m living my dream life but it’s due to the fact that I made my desires known to others and took that first step