Great Content, On and Off the Page
Some of you might remember, as I do, walking through your local supermarket and hearing the voice of Good Housekeeping’s John Mack Carter coming through the stores’ paging system with tips on what to do with the stuff that I was buying. And some of you might remember, as I do, seeing family members check for Good Housekeeping’s seal of approval on specific items they were planning to buy.
We’re doing it now through QR codes and hardlinking, through Foursquare and location based social media and games, through digital coupon downloads and in-store video screens. Regardless of how it is done, then as now, great content has always had a way of spilling off a magazine’s pages and into the outer world through whatever channels were available.
In the late 1980’s I worked for GamePro magazine. GamePro shared gaming tips and techniques in the magazine, on its TV show, on shelf talkers in Target and in electronics stores, and at E3, an industry conference the publisher founded.
It isn’t new to our online age. Great publishers have always shared great content both on and off the page.
One publisher I’ve mentioned on this blog is Catherine Lee of Discovery Girls magazine. I enjoy watching Lee for the ways she connects to her readers by and through her content. Lee is constantly on the lookout for ways to connect with the tween girls who make up her audience, and with their parents. Her latest initiative comprises town hall style meetings she will hold throughout the country where tween girls and their parents can discuss issues they face growing up.
What makes girls jealous of one another? Why do bullies behave as they do? How did you deal with your most embarrassing moment? Sharing their thoughts and experiences help girls develop strength, resiliency, and emotional intelligence. They can find it in a fun package in the magazine. And now they can do it as a group at the town hall meetings.
“We’re going city to city,” Lee said in a recent conversation. “We’re gathering 100 girls and their moms, using the school auditoriums, getting the teachers and some guest speakers involved. We’re going to provide a forum where girls and their parents can talk about issues that are important to them.”
It’s a format familiar to Lee, who creates the magazine’s editorial content by interacting with girls all over the country.
“The theme of our meetings is Straight Talk,” Lee said. “We’re giving these girls a voice.”
A voice in the pages of the magazine, a voice in the town hall meetings: content is offered wherever the audience is there to connect.
Linda Ruth, as president of PSCS Consulting (www.PSCSConsulting.com), offers communication companies worldwide the keys to magazine launches, search engine optimization and audience development online and at retail. She is a pioneer in the fields of Online Audience Optimization (OAO) and gamification for content publishers. Her books, "Internet Marketing for Magazine Publishers" ; "How to Market your Newsstand Magazine"; and "Secrets of SEO for Publishers" can be found on Amazon. Find her online at Google Plus, Magazine Dojo, LinkedIn, and Twitter @Linda_Ruth.