Broadcasting Your Brand
In a time when publishers everywhere are scratching their heads in search of ancillary profits, brand extensions and a steady stream of advertisers, Earl Graves Ltd., Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Shutterbug magazine are examples of companies prospering from an approach that others in the industry could do well to notice: broadcasting their brand.
Black Enterprise magazine, a business and investment publication oriented toward African American professionals, corporate executives and entrepreneurs, has been Earl Graves Ltd.’s cornerstone for more than 35 years. With 3.7 million readers, the monthly magazine is a major player in the publishing industry. But Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., the company's president and chief executive officer, understands that the Black Enterprise brand must transcend print. That’s why the company has expanded its programming to television and radio broadcasts—and with expanded programming comes a larger audience and, subsequently, greater opportunities for advertising revenue.
Today, roughly 35 percent of the company’s revenue is brought in through outlets other than its print magazine. “Whether an advertiser’s choice is print, Internet, radio or television, we’ve got it,” says Graves Jr., who was drafted out of Yale by the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, but opted instead for Harvard Business School and then joined the family business in 1988.
Internet Radio Raises Brand Awareness
Magazines are extending their brands into the world of broadcasting, even on the B-to-B side. George Schaub, editorial director of Shutterbug magazine—a trade publication for photographers—says cultivating brand awareness was the primary objective when Shutterbug began producing Internet radio broadcasts.
“We saw an opportunity to extend our brand into other media, and to raise brand and content awareness,” says Schaub. “Shutterbug is a very well-known brand among photographers and digital image makers. By linking up with even more quality content, we saw this as a very good chance to make even more people aware of what we do.”