With ad pages projected to decline in 2009, publishers are looking for every possible advantage to draw advertisers to printed magazines. Sure, the stampede continues toward screens and away from pages, but the magazine has some compelling properties as an effective marketing medium. Here, from the manufacturing side, are some ideas to present to your ad sales team.
The typical response to grim economic news is to slash expenses, cut staff, delay enhancements, trim marketing efforts and even, in the worst cases, cease publishing altogether. But why be typical?
In December 2008, Google announced that it had launched an initiative to add online magazine archives to its already established digital book archive database, Google Book Search (Books.Google.com). One of the first publishers to offer content to the new initiative was Chicago-based Johnson Publishing, the world’s largest African-American-owned and -operated publishing company, which produces Ebony and Jet magazines.
Most people in publishing don’t know that Charles Darwin had a few comments on our industry. My favorite: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
The publishing industry is feeling the effects of the economic recession, and keeping your employees motivated amid significant budget cuts and layoffs can be a tall order. Still, with the right attitude and a few important actions, you can help your workers engage and even thrive in their jobs.
Can a magazine develop an online existence the way a newspaper can (The New York Times, for example)? It depends on who you ask—and whether that person thinks the magazine format has a viable future. Myrna Blyth—a veteran and celebrity of the print world (former editor-in-chief of Ladies’ Home Journal and founding editor of More Magazine) who now heads a new online project—believes a better way has arrived.
“Digital magazines suck,” proclaimed a media executive friend of mine recently. “They’re not print, and they’re not Web. It seems like a lazy way to get online instead of investing in a really good Web site.” Perhaps he has a point. We’ve all seen those PDF/Flash/whatever-based replicas of print. Many are clunky to use, slow to load and have type so small that you’re constantly zooming in and out. No wonder some publishers haven’t seen their efforts pay off.