Working Mother Media Founder on Succeeding with a Single Title
Since founding Working Mother Media (WMM) in 2001, CEO Carol Evans has helped to grow Working Mother magazine into a multimedia enterprise. Fueled by the success of its ground-breaking “100 Best Companies” feature, which Evans launched in 1986, the company now includes a research arm, a growing events/conference business and a member organization dedicated to diversity and cultural change in corporate America. WMM’s largest event, the 2007 Best Companies for Multicultural Women National Conference, was held earlier this week in New York City and drew over 700 professional women to discuss issues of gender and race in the workforce. Evans took a break from the conference to speak with Publishing Executive Inbox on the company’s various initiatives and how this single-title publisher competes against publishing conglomerates:
Inbox: What are the biggest challenges you face as an independent, single-title publisher? How are you competing with multititle publishers?
Carol Evans: It is more difficult [as a single-title publisher] because you have to have a brilliant editor, a brilliant publisher, a brilliant circulation director … you have to have all these brilliant people, and there’s only one magazine. But the way we’ve been able to afford all this brilliance, we utilize the intellectual capital from our top team to launch all these initiatives and to move into new spheres of revenue generation and branding. Even though we’re a single title, we’re by no means a single focus. We have so many avenues, and I have to say, in this day and age where advertising has had tremendous ups and downs, we’ve built a strong fortress around the advertising. If the advertising has its peaks and valleys, the rest of the business is much more steady. That really helps us a lot. If you have 15 titles and they’re all dependent on advertising and the advertising business slips, you have 15 titles in trouble. Because we have research, events and advertising as our revenue generators, not to mention the Web of course, it really helps. We’ve expanded too because we just acquired a member organization in the diversity business called Diversity Best Practices. [There are] almost 200 top-tiered companies in the United States who are members of this organization, working to make their companies better at diversity and inclusion. So now we tie this broader perspective of diversity into everything we’re doing at Working Mother.