The View From The Tree: 6 Things Magazine Publishers Should Stop Doing Now
2) Stop jumping onto bandwagons.
Not every media-related trend—even digital ones—will create opportunities for your business. Tablet sales are booming, but so far a disappointingly small number of tablet owners are paying for digital magazines. It's easy to create ebooks these days, but not so easy to make money in that crowded market. You can pay for Facebook "likes," but that does little to earn you genuine audience engagement. Bookazines are a hot topic among publishers, but how much growth can there be in that line of business when retailers keep devoting less space to the sale of magazines?
3) Stop thinking of digital and print as enemies.
Your customers certainly don't think that way. To them it's simple: When I want digital, give me digital. When I want print, give me print.
Judging by the rapid growth of some magazines' web sites, having a print legacy seems to be a competitive advantage online. As people—and search engines—become more savvy and discriminating about the sources of web content, there's been a flight toward quality and reliability. Bylines by actual journalists used to seem so retro but are now one of the best ways to get Google juice.
4) Stop wondering whether the internet has fundamentally changed human behavior.
It hasn't. People still hate to be duped. They will tolerate native advertising just as they have tolerated advertorial—as long as it doesn't masquerade as editorial content. But once readers cannot distinguish between your journalism—whether print or web—and what you've been paid to say, you will lose your hard-earned position as a trust agent. And once you've sold your credibility, it's hard to buy back.
5) Stop using the word “digital” and run from any pundit or conference that talks about “digital strategy.”
Words are useless when they no longer have an accepted meaning. In our business, "digital" often means: "All that newfangled stuff that put our traditional business in the red." Or maybe, "All those newfangled ventures we hope and pray will get us out of the red."