"The Drum Live" Exemplifies the Ever-Changing Audience-Publisher Dynamic
By involving digital adherents in a print process, The Drum Live is applying a tenet of digital content creation to its production. "We treat our print platform very similarly to the way that people treat their digital platforms," says Young. The Drum does this by emulating successful user-generated content sites like Medium and Thought Catalog -- a tactic largely unused in print.
Yet Young believes this collaborative publishing will only grow in importance as the industry continues to evolve. "We believe that the role of publisher is to facilitate conversations between readers. As opposed to being the intermediary between the reader and the target market." Publishing is now part of a wider intercourse, says Young, one in which the audience has just as valued an opinion as the publisher.
Being Reflective & Nimble
Though The Drum Live emphasized the importance of collaboration around print, the event also made an impact online. It reached thousands of people on social media as staffers and attendees tweeted, videoed, and Instagrammed the day's happenings. That activity propelled The Drum Live to the highest trending topic on Twitter in London and the fifth most trending topic in the U.K. That was possible, says Young, because The Drum was savvy in extending conversations from the physical event onto the social platforms their readers -- and the general public -- use most. With the shrewd use of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, says Young, "a business brand like us was able break through to that greater consumer consciousness."
Young adds: "I think what we're trying to demonstrate is that the business of publishing is no longer just about producing a magazine. It's really about engaging an audience and being able to engage that audience in any way that they want to be engaged." Young pointed to the different content strategies of the The Drum's website and its print product to demonstrate how readers should be engaged. Online, says Young, stories are posted immediately so that readers can quickly access the day's biggest news. Print, however, is another matter entirely: It is a curated experience, says Young, that boils down the website's 1000-plus monthly articles into a more palatable and immersive experience.