Are Your Priorities Straight?
Are your priorities straight? There may be no more important question in publishing today as audiences demand ever-more sophisticated modes of content delivery and need-fulfillment. Faced with complex problems and decisions, readers and advertisers seek simple, yet elegant solutions, which can be difficult for publishers faced with a dizzying array of new content delivery options, often-limited staff resources and unproven return on investment (ROI). Making decisions about where to focus company money and time is never an easy call.
“It is intimidating for [employees] if all they hear from us is ‘do more, more, more’—the ‘run ’til you fall’ approach,” says Larry Lannon, director of e-media content at Overland Park, Kan.-based Ascend Media. “That’s not good for anybody. We have to approach this revolution from an intelligent perspective, and make sure [that] in doing more things, we don’t sacrifice quality.”
Publishing Executive contacted the decision-makers within industry market segments who are enjoying strong growth in revenue and ad pages over the last year, according to IMS’ Magazine Health Watch, a database of advertising activity in consumer and business-to-business magazines. Each of them stressed the importance of maintaining a focus on quality content, while at the same time being willing to take calculated risks and, above all, paying attention to the needs of readers and advertisers.
Integrating Across Departments
“In integrated media you … have to do more servicing and work internally within your organization to make sure the implementation is successful for your clients,” says Helen Berman, principal of the advertising sales consultancy Helen Berman Corp. “Maintain editorial integrity, but open lines of communication [between editorial and sales], because it takes a team,” she says, to develop a successful integrated media strategy.
John Cappelletti—CEO of Itasca, Ill.-based Putman Media—says his company underwent a two-year transition from being a print-focused company to a fully integrated, multimedia destination site. “We changed the culture here by showing that this [multimedia environment] is where the … end-user community is,” he says. The 70-year-old company has brands in industries including food, pharmaceuticals, and control and instrumentation systems.