Publishing Allies: 4 Tips For Creating Productive Media Partnerships
In this case, The Knot and Here Media both saw the great benefit of learning from one another and about their respective audiences, says Anderson-Minshall. "The Knot is an industry leader in contemporary wedding issues. We are the industry leaders in this country, hands down, on speaking to and really reaching lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender consumers. Across all our platforms, our readers are educated, affluent and most likely to be first-adopters and trend spotters. And now they are getting ready to spend a hefty chunk of money in the wedding industry. The Knot helps survey those folks, and we help The Knot understand them."
2. Set Clear Expectations
Like a good marriage, a healthy business partnership requires clearly defined roles and responsibilities. "Outline all the expectations," says Anderson-Minshall. "Not just costs but also deadlines, who exactly is responsible for what, what your expectations are and who is in charge; even in partnerships, a project needs a manager and without it, you'll get something like Healthcare.gov (which probably failed because there were 54 contractors and no single boss)."
Also, be aware that not every partnership works out, says Anderson-Minshall. "Successful media partnerships are a lot like dating: the better you've been able to vet someone and make sure you have shared interests and goals or at least chemistry, the better it works out."
3. Be Open Minded
When it comes to finding a good partner, Anderson-Minshall suggests publishers be more adventurous in finding new collaborators. "A lot of media companies don't partner with other companies because they think they'll lose readers to that other organization. But unless you're head to head in a category, that's rarely true. In our case, The Knot is much more service-oriented and we're more culture and news-focused, so our partnership was a great way to blend those elements, retaining for each what we do best."
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed 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.