Bo Sacks - The Profit Prophet: Stop Firing the Editors and Writers
My hope is that, for those magazines that do endure in printed form, you adapt a new strategy where printed magazines cost more—because they should and because they are deemed vital and indispensable. If the old advertising foundation continues to crumble as I expect it will, how critically valuable is your edit to both you and the reader?
Although the market for printed products is not likely to recover to yesterday's print runs, there will still be billions of dollars available to those who produce the right product.
Digital reading and digital platforms are growing faster than anyone can track. It is my belief that digital reading will soon be totally ubiquitous and provide data and a reading experience that is perhaps more useful than print because of its ability to probe deep into the depths of any conversation.
But I also accept that print, for many, is a buffer zone from the world around us, and that has a certain charm all its own. Many have postulated that it is that very lack of ability to "connect" that is at the bottom of the charisma of the printed product. Regardless, there is room for both if they have what the reader wants.
The answer to the publishing industry's woes is to provide something worth paying for. For far too long we have been lured with the easy money and wicked ways of our advertising mistress. Well, in the past few years we got dumped. And it hurts. But I say we pick ourselves up out of the gutter and find our self-worth once again. Stop firing the editors and writers, and start paying for the production of excellence. There is no other choice.
Bob Sacks (aka BoSacks) is a printing/publishing industry consultant and president of The Precision Media Group (BoSacks.com). He also is the co-founder of the research company mediaIDEAS (MediaIdeas.net), and publisher and editor of a daily, international e-newsletter, Heard on the Web. Sacks has held posts as director of manufacturing and distribution, senior sales manager (paper), chief of operations, and every other job this industry has to offer.