How to Reach The Next Generation of Readers
Publishing to print, the web, and to various mobile apps requires publishers to staff up at a time when people power is at an industry low. Laufer remarks on the so-called Catch-22 publishers are facing: "We have to staff it, but we also have to bring in revenue to fund that staffing."
One of the ways Laufer Media won't be funding its teen titles is with content marketing-the predicted saving grace of print publishing. While others may be looking at these types of creative partnerships between magazine editorial and advertisers, Laufer dismisses it. "We've always stayed away from advertorials. We won't do it in the magazines. We have not yet done it digitally. The way we see it, this audience is young, and it's their introduction to being a consumer, and we feel like we owe it to them to be as straightforward as possible. If it's content from us, they know it's from us. If it's content from an advertiser, they know that it's advertising content."
A 360° Publishing Approach
National Geographic Kids magazine continued to be popular, even during the recent economic downturn, according to editor and vice president Rachel Buchholz: "We have a 1.1 million rate base, and that has held steady for several years."
Buchholz credits the content for the magazine's health and longevity. "There's so much that goes into the photographs we choose, the design, the colors we use, the fonts we use, and the playfulness of the graphics, which I think is very compelling."
Complementary to its print publication, National Geographic Kids also publishes PDF editions for Android devices and the Nook. But it's the magazine's iPad app that National Geographic Kids hopes to increase engagement in the future. "Although those circulations are helping, too, it seems like there hasn't been a huge migration from print to digital," says Buchholz. "I'm not sure that parents are ready for their kids to read on the tablets. They like to watch videos on them, but as far as reading together and learning, I think a lot of parents are still more comfortable with the print product. [However], we want to make this a 360-degree experience, so we have all the products besides the magazine. We have books, videos, the website; we have the app."