Guest Columnist: 6 Survival Tactics for Today's Economy
2. Study staffing and structure. No one wants to cut staff, so look for bottlenecks in the process and unnecessary reporting layers that can be remedied to improve overall efficiency and enable staff to tackle new opportunities that may arise. Do silos and territorial attitudes prevent staff from working effectively? Are electronic and print messages consistent and well-timed? Take an integrated approach by leveraging your magazine’s “content specialists” to deliver information in multiple platforms, from e-newsletters and digital issues, to blogs and wikis.
3. Talk—and listen—to your readers. Use focus groups, discussions at annual meetings and conferences, and other venues to engage readers and find out what’s on their minds. Tap into online resources, such as blogs and other social networks, to track new concerns and issues. And don’t be afraid to ask readers for their feedback on articles or their insights in creating editorial. Readers provide an excellent sounding board for vetting topical ideas and providing regular feedback.
Consistently measuring member/reader feedback is an essential component to continued success. Readers are discerning and demanding. The more you can hone in on their needs, the stronger your reader engagement and success.
Take time this year to evaluate readership feedback to see how you can strengthen your content, refine your articles for quick read, and deliver more “must-read” content in 2009.
4. Tap into social media—it’s not just for millennials. Magazines have been among the trailblazers in creating online social communities. If you are not already testing social media options, take the plunge in 2009.
Tapping social media opportunities is a great way to further engage readers online. Many publications have established blogs and are forming groups on Facebook, Second Life or other social-networking sites; “Twittering” at conferences and other events; and using multiple social media to generate conversation and discussions, and even build revenues.