Embracing a Parallel Universe
If Newspapers Will Be Like Magazines …
Now, magazines are not exempt from this season of change either. If newspapers are going to become more like magazines, what will magazines do to survive? Let's face the facts. If newspapers have yesterday's old news, what does a magazine have?
Magazines have niche, special interest markets targeting and supplying the verve and lust for unique information. If a publisher can focus in on this special need, they will have success. Magazine publishers must drill down to the core of their readers' lust for the topic at hand. The editorial must be seen as supplying a "needed fix" to a reading junkie.
That is what a successful publishing niche is today and will be tomorrow— filling an absolute need in a specific, targeted audience. The successful publishers' magazines must be essential to the happiness of the reader. There are hundreds of magazines that work this way today. If yours does not, then I deem your survival rate in the digital world as pretty dim.
Publishers must recognize that the era of generalized editorial is totally gone. When you drill down far enough you can—indeed must—write and appeal to the specific and unique individual reader. Let's call it personalized "me-
editorial." You must make it feel that you "know" me and are writing this magazine for me.
If you can tap my specific interests, you will have a reader for life. And with that will come the added bonus of advertisers willing to pay a premium to reach your animated, narrow-focus group of readers.
Bob Sacks is a consultant to the printing/publishing industry and president
of The Precision Media Group (www.BoSacks.com). He is also publisher and editor of an international, daily industry e-newsletter, "Heard on the Web." Sacks has held posts as director of manufacturing and distribution, senior sales manager (paper), chief of operations, pressman, cameraman and corporate janitor.