The Big Ideas Shaping Publishing
One of my grad school mentors once told me that the value of an outstanding journalist or editor doesn't come from one's ability to write or edit as much as the quality of the ideas one can bring to the table. I suppose the same could be said of any profession. Execution and skills are important, but good ideas are much more rare and valuable. And right now, new, innovative, creative, and important ideas are helping the publishing industry readjust and thrive in an era of digital disruption. Good ideas are needed more than ever.
For this reason we decided to launch the first ever Publishing Executive Big Ideas Issue. Digital disruption in the industry has spurred a healthy amount of soul searching, and what seems to have come from that self-analysis are some truths about what it means to be a publisher and where new business opportunities exist. When we tapped our network of publishers and technologists to see what wisdom they had to share, what they came up weren't outlandish pipe dreams. Rather, these industry thinkers are compelling us to revisit the core services publisher have always provided and reapply them to a new canvas.
These thinkers are focused on growing an engaged audience that they are intimately acquainted with and can serve to advertisers and clients in a nuanced manner. They're enhancing audience experience, especially on digital platforms, but also at events and in print. They're taking advantage of new trends like native ads, but not being bowled over by industry hype. They're segmenting audiences and delivering relevant content to a niche at the right time.
Sure, publishers are redefining themselves in terms of the people they employ, the products they offer, and how they market them, but publishers' DNA remains unchanged. Successful publishers present valuable content in such a way that it informs, enlightens, and inspires an audience regardless of the platform.
So the ideas here are aren't the far-out ideas one might have expected. Really, they're simple ideas imbued with gravitas. As David Saabye offers in his essay, publishers must be guided by simplicity in focus and communication. Let's leave it at that.
(What's your Big Idea? Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll publish the best ideas on PubExec.com.)
- ALM's VP of Digital David Saabye on the Importance of Simplicity
- Andrew Davis: "It's Time to Unbundle Our Brands"
- 29th Street Publishing's David Jacobs: "In Publishing, Everything Old Is New Again"
- NAPCO President Dave Leskusky on Why Publishers Must Redefine Themselves
- Paul Miller: "Publishers Must Put Audience First & Take Risks"
- Big Idea: Publishing Must Continue to Diversify
- LA Parent Publisher: "Why I Gambled on Print"
- Contently's VP of Content: "Native Ads Are Not a Business Model"
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.