"The Drum Live" Exemplifies the Ever-Changing Audience-Publisher Dynamic
Audience engagement today may seem to be a digitally-driven machine, fueled by tweets, newsletters, and online comments. Indeed, human interaction, be it dating or connecting with friends, more and more falls within digital's purview. But connections still occur in-person, and yes, even around print, argues Gordon Young, editor-in-chief of The Drum magazine. Based in the U.K. and focused on the marketing and media business, The Drum seeks to spur greater conversations among its readers and even involve them in the content creation process.
That's especially the goal of The Drum Live, a one-day event in which readers of The Drum collaborate with its staff to create an issue in a single day. "They get to ask our interviewees questions, choose our cover design, and generally get an opportunity to shape the whole issue of The Drum," says Young. While the magazine is being assembled, live social media experiments, video blogs, and other media projects are being constructed -- all driven by the question, "What can you complete in a day?" The event is now in its second year and was hosted in London this July.
It's not just that The Drum Live is a unique and interactive take on a conference, says Young, it also represents where publishing is headed. "The Drum Live epitomizes what our industry is becoming. It's all about multi-channel communication, and it's also about being able to engage an audience at many different levels at the same time."
Bringing Digital Collaboration to Print
The Drum Live is very much an event of contrasts. Its 400-plus attendees hail largely from digital media and marketing. Yet those professionals have gathered rather enthusiastically to create a print product, says Young. "Our readers loved the opportunity to be able to get involved in creating a print publication, which is much less transient than what they normally work in."