How Publishers are Capitalizing on Their Communities
And so Hammes has tried to separate the casual readers of Foreign Affairs—those who simply want to stay on top of world events—from the truly dedicated readers, which for example, might rely on the magazine to do their jobs. "We're looking for ways to give more value to the people that are really the power users and really passionate about these issues," says Hammes.
The phrase "capitalizing on your community" may not fully capture the spirit of what publishers are trying to achieve. "In my mind, I don't think 'capitalization' is really the right term," says Mark Subers, group president and media director for North American Publishing Company [owner of Publishing Executive].
Subers approaches content produced by NAPCO—whether in traditional print form, online, or in the form of events or video—as a tool that should help the audience in some way. He seeks not necessarily to capitalize on the community, as much as build a relationship with community members so that readers know that the publication is working for their best interest. "There's a term called prosit that kind of sticks in my head. In Latin, the term means "for your benefit." And I keep circling back to the idea of that."
Breaking Out With Events
More and more publishers are expanding into the events business. (See the feature "Events Are Happening for Magazines" on page 28 for more on that). Despite the wide variation in purpose, type, and scale, publishers hosting events share common goals: to engage with audience members in a more personal fashion and to open new sources of revenue, whether through attendee fees, sponsorships, or a combination of both.
Subers sees events primarily as an opportunity to advance the knowledge of the attendees and attract a target audience coveted by marketers. By hosting events that bring together industry leaders, experts, and vendors, NAPCO can also elevate its brand, as well as drive audiences to its print and online platforms. In this way, successful events can actually make traditional channels more successful as the community begins to see a publisher as an organization that brings them all together.
Related story: Forecasting the Future of Print