Publishing Allies: 4 Tips For Creating Productive Media Partnerships
It's not uncommon for sister publications within a publishing company to partner on issues or share content. For its October issue, Wired collaborated with fellow Condé Nast title bon appétit on a food issue, hoping to cross-pollinate its audience. But it's also encouraging to see publishers seek partners from beyond the confines of their own properties.
Earlier this year, online wedding resource and publisher The Knot partnered with leading gay media company Here Media Inc. to conduct a co-branded survey that examined how same-sex couples approach wedding planning. The survey explored what kinds of traditions same-sex couples are integrating into their weddings and how their wedding spending habits compare to their straight counterparts. Here Media-which includes brands such as OUT, The Advocate, Here TV and Gay.com-and The Knot collaborated to gather survey results from readers visiting both companies' various web properties.
For Anja Winikka, TheKnot.com site director, the partnership made sense on many levels. "It's an historic time for our country. We've always been a strong proponent of gay marriage, and we've always had content on it." Winikka says The Knot was eager to learn more about gay couples and reached out to the experts in that niche, Here Media.
The Knot and Here Media were a perfect match. Here's how and why they hit it off.
1. Have Something In Common
Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor-at-large for The Advocate magazine and Advocate.com, emphasizes the importance of partnering with organizations that share similar goals and ensuring both parties see the value of working together. "Many companies go into partnerships thinking only of what they'll get out of it," says Anderson-Minshall, "But when it fails, that's in part because it wasn't mutually beneficial."
Winikka agrees: "My best advice is to absolutely make sure that each brand is receiving equal play in the partnership. At the end of the program, both brands want to feel that it was a success for them, so that the partnerships can be done year after year and the relationship between the two brands continues to grow."
Denis Wilson is the content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.