Guest Columnist: 6 Survival Tactics for Today's Economy
The typical response to grim economic news is to slash expenses, cut staff, delay enhancements, trim marketing efforts and even, in the worst cases, cease publishing altogether. But why be typical?
If you’re like me, you’ve grown weary of news stories about publishers’ woes. While ensuring that operations function efficiently is essential, now is not the time to stop investing in the future of your publications. In particular, publishers of association magazines, which deliver significant member value, must continue to meet demanding readers’ needs with quality products.
Certainly, doing business during a recession requires you to more carefully measure the cost versus benefit of any changes or improvements. However, that doesn’t mean eschewing opportunities that may pay off in better days ahead. To be a survivor in this economic environment, publishers should take time for some introspection and conduct self-audits of current operations, then consider and explore new approaches for the coming year.
Self-assessment Helps Identify Potential
Survival depends on your ability to adapt and improve, especially in tough times. While success is measured by a number of factors, consider these six as you take a closer look at your magazines and online media in 2009.
1. Look beyond the obvious when studying financial performance. Bottom-line financial figures tell much of the story regarding performance—and they can point to new opportunities for controlling expenses and tapping revenues. This is the time to pay attention to key production factors and ways to trim expenses, tighten ad/edit ratios, as well as expand revenues—tapping into online opportunities.
To really understand how your magazine’s performance compares with others’, use industry studies and reports to better understand financial operations and identify survival tactics. What are the secrets of the magazines that operate at net profits, and what can you learn from them? Look for production efficiencies, streamlined operations, integrated approaches to sales and management operations, and ways to tap new revenue streams, from social media sites to sponsorships and more.