Get Your Multimedia House in Order
Managing the change from being print-centric to becoming a multiplatform deliverer of information can be difficult for a publishing company of any size. With no definitive road map to guide the way, publishers today are learning as they go when it comes to preparing their staffs for the conversion that continues to take place throughout the industry.
Some larger media companies, with the resources to maintain separate departments for print and Web, opt for a division of the workload. However, many companies—no matter their size—have trained their staffs to be more diversified.
Reps from some of the top b-to-b and consumer magazine publishers spoke with Publishing Executive and shared their insights into navigating the dimly lit road toward the unknown future of Web publishing. Some tips contradict each other because of the differing experiences each publisher has had. What unifies them all is that they agree a change is not only imminent, but is already here.
Michael Federle, group publisher for the Time Inc. Business and Finance Network
1. Just do it.
“Go for it,” Federle says. “You’ve got to. Everything’s changing so fast. It’s going to continue to evolve online. Recognize they’re different mediums. Don’t try to replicate what you’re doing in print. Instead, provide the sort of information [that] users that are going to a Web site want.”
2. Just being there is half the job.
“What’s going to happen is you’re never going to get … a perfect model of your Web site,” he says. “It’s more about getting into the game and evolving whatever model you’ve set up. You have to keep changing the model and find the best way to deliver the information. I think that applies to small publishers as well.”
3. Don’t worry about getting writers and contributors to embrace the new technology—the opportunity to get their words out there will compel them to go with the flow.
“Writers and journalists want to get feedback and get a reader’s response to what they’re writing. They’re all pitching their stories, but there’s only so many stories that can make it in the print magazine. [The Web] gives them a much bigger outlet and bigger audience.”