NAPCO President Dave Leskusky on Why Publishers Must Redefine Themselves
Publishing Executive asked industry thought leaders to discuss the big ideas that are changing the magazine industry. We are excited about the future of publishing, and we hope these essays invigorate you with new and illuminating perspectives on that future. View the complete essay collection here.
Simply put, we're in the content and audience business. If you look at your business as writing stories that go into pretty pages (surrounded by ads) and distributed via the USPS, you're in big trouble. The tighter you hold on to the traditional revenue model and the longer you wait to innovate, the sooner you'll die.
Two years ago we took a step back and looked outside the traditional channel revenue model and what we saw were hundreds of ways we can monetize relevant content and an engaged audience. We took this critical step back because our customers started changing how they were taking products to market. They were asking us to help execute on programs outside of our core competency, and rather than listen to them and change our philosophy, we were walking away from the business or arguing why traditional advertising was the best way to go.
Today we are doing a better job of actively listening to our customer's needs, spotting trends, and bringing new products and services to market. That doesn't mean we have abandoned our core competency, but it does mean that we've complemented that core with a number of other products and services. A great example of that is NAPCO Video Services. We had been outsourcing our clients' video needs when we realized it was much more profitable to bring this in-house. After all, video is just another content channel and when you package that with distribution in e-newsletters, websites, and print via augmented reality, you add great value to your customers.
In order to evolve you have to see what others don't and you better have the best team to help you do that. Assembling the right team is the most difficult part of leadership and the most critical. As we evolve there are new skillsets that are necessary in data, events management, IT, and video. We need to change how we market our company and showcase the opportunities that we see. Perhaps the easiest way to change is to bring in top talent from outside the industry. They see things in different ways and bring new perspectives that can be enlightening.
I'm not sure we have one Big Idea that's going to make us successful, but I do know that if we assemble the best team, focus on the best ideas, and execute flawlessly, we'll be in very good shape next year and in 2025.
David Leskusky is the CEO of the North American Publishing Company.
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