Leader Profile: Global Vision
For Hammes—named this year as the magazine's first-ever female publisher—the possibilities are both open-ended and inspiring. "It's the most exciting time in publishing ever," she says.
Apps, Events and Premium Perks
Foreign Affairs' first-ever app was at the top of Hammes' list when she assumed the editor's position in July (she has been with the magazine for 10 years). "I said we are going to have an app by the time iPads are under Christmas trees. And, we're going to. That meant we had to make some choices about what we could do in that time frame."
She characterizes the app as "first generation," a work in progress meant to evolve along with products, platforms and editorial focus. The first priority was to produce a replica edition to satisfy auditing demands while including extras such as videos and a commenting function.
"Today, you cannot go behind the curtain and [unveil] something—'Ta Da!'—many months later. You have to be in a constant mode of improvement and responding to new technology," Hammes says. Development work on the back end was necessary, she adds, to "make an app that is really going to be agile and updated frequently."
"It's not about constant updates for our readers," she says. "Each issue that we launch is really an event, and lots of opportunities come between each issue because once you've got the app downloaded we're merchandizing ebooks, special reports, possibly even event-related content."
When it comes to events—Foreign Affairs produces international investment conferences and subscriber-only get-togethers, among others—the goal is "good old- fashioned brand building," Hammes says. Events are also valuable for marketing, sponsorship revenue, media partnerships and content creation (e.g. video, podcasts).
In November, an investment conference focused on Brazil brought together CEOs, politicians, journalists and economists for panels and networking sessions. "That has grown out of sponsored sections in the magazine," she says—a "huge area for advertising growth."