Paste Magazine President ‘Thinking Beyond Print’ With Site Relaunch
Inbox: Was it a difficult decision to decide to accept advertising on the site? Why didn’t you do so sooner?
Regan-Porter: We’ve accepted advertising almost since the beginning. However, we’ve never sought sponsorship of the Web site or even put an effort into selling online ads. It was there mainly as an option for added-value to print sales. Now, online clearly needs to be a significant part of a healthy magazine’s revenue. At the at the end of last year—even without our trying—we saw a noticeable increase in the number of advertisers approaching us for online-only initiatives. Facilitating online sales, as well as circulation support, was the primary driver behind the relaunch efforts.
Inbox: Have you devised an effective strategy in getting your personnel to think beyond print and to cultivate a stronger online presence?
Regan-Porter: Getting the team (sales and editorial) to think beyond print—to think of Paste as a platform-neutral content provider—is an ongoing challenge. Everyone understands it in theory, but the onus is on management to align incentives and requirements with what we need for the new reality we’re facing. We’re really at the very beginning of this process.
Inbox: Can you provide an example of a way in which you offer incentives or require your staff to think beyond print?
Regan-Porter: We’re still figuring this out. On the sales side, we’re creating more bundled packages, adding extra cash incentives for online and event sales, holding the line on not giving away saleable assets as added value, and encouraging the team to dig for non-print connections in order to tap into new budgets. On the editorial side, we’re requiring staff (marketing and editorial) to contribute regularly to our online content—whether that’s with blog entries, news items, reviews or features—and to stay on top of what other sites are doing to look for relevant ideas and potential partnerships.