Does Anyone Know the Heimlich?
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have very strong opinions about print editors and writers who don’t embrace the online world and resist changing how they work to accommodate the shift in how readers consume content.
Earlier this year, during our annual Publishing Business Conference, I took part in a half-day eMedia Roundtable in a packed room at the New York Marriott Marquis. The lively discussions were based on Eric Shanfelt’s eMedia Revenue Pipeline, which often end up negatively affected by “choke points” that, as Eric says (and I agree), “limit revenue potential.”
One of the two parts of the pipeline I was asked to address was content, so in order to prepare, I took an impromptu survey of dozens of editors I work with on a daily basis. Here are some questions they were asked, and the results:
• Approximately what percentage of your work week is spent creating original content for your Web site or e-newsletter?
Not one response indicated that more than half of the week is spent creating online content, while 48% indicated they spend 1%-10% of their average workweek creating original online content.
• What is the biggest reason you don’t create more content for online?
Seventy-four percent (74%) said there’s “not enough time,” while the other results were split evenly between “not in my job description” and “I want to, but just haven’t been asked.”
• Do you consider online pure-plays (including bloggers) as competition to your magazine’s readership?
Fifty-seven percent (57%) said “Yes,” but perhaps more surprising was the 43% that answered, “No.”
• Please complete this sentence: In 10 years, my magazine will be:
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of editors who responded said “more or less, what it is today,” while 26% said “entirely online,” and 9% answered “not being published anymore.”
It may help to know that 43% of those who responded were editors-in-chief, 22% hold managing editor positions and 21% have the title of senior editor or editor.
Choke points? If editors and writers who traditionally write for a print magazine really think this way, they need the Heimlich, fast.