PBC 2012: Excellence and Innovation Take Center Stage
The 2012 Publishing Business Conference & Expo brought together more than 1,300 industry experts and solutions providers for three days of education, idea sharing and opportunity at the New York Marriott Marquis. This year’s conference theme, “Cashing in on Cross Media Content,” highlighted emerging opportunities for magazine and book publishers. It also aptly described the optimism among speakers and attendees at this signature event for publishing professionals.
With more than 30 panel sessions, covering everything from advanced metrics for boosting revenue to implementing multichannel production strategies, attendees encountered plenty of ways to be informed, enlightened and inspired. The tone was set by a slate of powerful keynote speakers on Monday morning.
A Challenge to Innovate
Monday morning’s welcome address from Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel galvanized a packed Astor ballroom. Tyrangiel, at the helm of Businessweek since 2009, told the assembled publishing executives their job was to take nothing for granted. “Each day you have to fight for your right to exist. It is not a given anymore. Every new platform is an opportunity to define yourself to a new audience, to an audience that doesn’t yet know you or hasn’t even heard of you. It’s also an opportunity to redefine yourself to an audience that does.”
Tyrangiel said that reviving a moribund periodical was obviously made easier by the resources of parent company Bloomberg, but that the changes made to the magazine are “not profligate—they’re about value.” The idea was to create a product that readers felt was more than worth the money. “We wanted readers to feel like they were ripping us off,” he said.
Key to this effort, he said, was creating a magazine that is comprehensive, seductive and surprising. The first goal was achieved by making use of Bloomberg’s worldwide stable of reporters. The second, by introducing more narrative journalism and photography. The third, via top-notch design. It all added up to a product overhaul good enough to constitute a true reinvention of an 82-year-old magazine. “Be aware that there’s a big difference between reviving a brand and overhauling a product,” he said. “It’s the difference between a tail and a dog. Make something great and broadcast your belief in its greatness.”