Putting an Emphasis on Digital Media
Peggy Walker signed on with Vance Publishing in April 2005 as its vice president of custom media. Now president and COO, Walker is continuing the push to diversify Vance’s products, helping the magazine publisher—which publishes approximately 20 titles including Modern Salon, Renew, Dairy Herd Management, Furniture Style, Citrus and Vegetable—to expand beyond its roots as a business-to-business print publication company. In addition to Web products and e-newsletters, the company also has a custom publishing business, and offers research and marketing services.
What’s the toughest challenge you’ve personally faced as the president of the company in the past year?
Walker: Finding quality tech people to execute our digital strategy. We restructured the company in the fall to put an emphasis on digital media and new product development. We created a number of new positions and half of them are still open. Every industry meeting I attend, I hear the same thing: “How are you recruiting tech and digital people?”
With much uncertainty occurring in the industry, what role does magazine publishing now play in your company?
Walker: … At [the] core, we are still doing what we have always done. We are providing professional audiences information to help them be better in their jobs, and in attracting these audiences, we create compelling communication opportunities for marketers. It’s still incredibly creative—we create new products every day. The challenge is to keep up with the changing demands of our markets—driven by technology, and more and more choices.
What move are you most proud of, in terms of helping the company incorporate cross-platform delivery into your business model?
Walker: Pulling together a strong, diverse group of executives who are conceptual thinkers, have a tremendous sense of urgency, are excited about the challenges we face, and are winners and will accept nothing less than success. This group is driving the company forward.