Get Your Multimedia House in Order
Eric Shanfelt, senior vice president of e-media strategy and development
9. Look to create an Internet-savvy print staff.
Retrofitting a print staff to handle the new demands of becoming a multiplatform content provider can be daunting. Aim for the editorial team to be knowledgeable, but don’t expect to create technological wizards.
“Our goal for the company is for our entire staffs to be just as Internet-savvy as print-savvy,” says Shanfelt. “That doesn’t mean they need to know every technical nuance.”
10. Train and hire Web departments to build your brand, but don’t let the print product guide all decisions.
“Design your Web site as if you didn’t have a print publication,” Shanfelt says. “Do not worry about competing with yourself, because if you’re able to go online and compete with yourself in print, then anyone can.”
11. Train the company to embrace the theory of “Web. 2.0.”
“Don’t just focus on traditional editorial,” Shanfelt says. “The biggest
nontraditional editorial is happening in community development and databases. They are large-scale, peer-to-peer. It fosters a dialogue and interaction instead of a monologue.”
Paul Maidment, editor of Forbes.com, executive editor of Forbes
12. The essence of your product is not really changing. However, the way you distribute it is.
According to Maidment, the Forbes family realized early on that the Web was going to be the central platform of all their growth. He says whether the delivery is made through the printed page, wireless handheld devices or the Internet, the Forbes product is still what people are looking for.
“It’s all about creating your journalism and distributing it in the way the audience wants it,” he says. “But a Forbes.com is not a Forbes magazine story online.”
13. The Web is more than just a place to put repurposed content.
In its push to transform from a single-title print publisher to a multiplatform publisher, Forbes Media realized that the Web is its own animal.
“This is one of the real fundamental things of a Web site—it is a publication in its own right,” he says. “We’re not another medium online. The analogy is, don’t make television ‘radio with pictures.’ They tried to make print online.”