Working Mother Media President Carol Evans: Building a Major Brand Into a Franchise
It's no secret. Many, if not most publishers today are striving to diversify beyond advertising-reliant business models, seeking and seizing new opportunities to drive revenue. For Carol Evans, President, Working Mother Media, diversification has been a consistent strategy inherent in building a growing franchise around a single title, Working Mother magazine.
In addition to a steady circulation of 825,000 and an estimated readership of 2 million, the 31-year-old magazine has served as the foundation of an expanding brand serving working moms through print, unique content products, events, digital efforts, research and global initiatives, among others.
Here, Evans, who was named as one of Publishing Executive's "Top Women in Magazine Publishing" in 2009, shares her insights into Working Mother Media's growth and investment areas, new and forthcoming initiatives, challenges, the benefits of her company's sale to Bonnier Corp. last year, and more.
The Revenue Picture
Noelle Skodzinski: What is Working Mother Media's fastest-growing revenue segment?
Carol Evans: Working Mother Media's (WMM) fastest-growing revenue stream in 2010 is research, which is why we are announcing the formation of the WMM Research Institute. We invested in technology and personnel to support our unique capabilities in research. WMM creates benchmarking research products from the extensive databases of our "Best Company" initiatives including "WM 100 Best," "Best Companies for Multicultural Women," "Best Companies for Hourly Workers," "Best Law Firms" and "NAFE [National Association for Female Executives] Top Companies for Executive Women."
We also expanded our ability to provide original research by utilizing the strengths of the Bonnier Corporate research team to create larger research projects than we could previously offer. In November, we will release a major national study called "What Moms Think," sponsored by Ernst and Young, Pampers and IBM.
Skodzinski: What is the company's largest revenue segment?
Evans: WMM's largest revenue segment is still print advertising, but advertising makes up just under 50 percent of our revenue. All other areas have been growing at a faster pace: conferences and events, research and corporate membership. I believe that Working Mother's advertising revenue will get back to pre-recession levels and grow from there, but I expect our other revenues to continue to outpace advertising growth.