The Paradox: While publishers are desperate to be more "social" they ignore their biggest "social" asset: their journalists.
Put the Social back in Social Media
In the social media world, everyone has an audience. Your journalists, your editors, your sales staff, your CEO, all have the ability to attract fans, followers and friends. In the social media world, fans, followers, and friends are all versions of a subscription. Your "subscribers" have opted-in to your status updates, shared links, photo posts, and video shares.
Reed Phillips is co-founder of DeSilva+Phillips, one of the leading M&A advisors to the media and marketing industries. DeSilva+Phillips have advised and invested in our industry on more than 250 transactions valued at over $8.5 billion.
When it comes to the publishing world, Reed is an advisor to media kings, sometimes known as publishers, and is always worth listening to.
Today, we present our media buyers and marketing executives with a plethora of options. Sure, you can still buy a print ad or a display opportunity, but we also offer video ads, placement in our podcast, social media inclusion, promotional campaigns, contests, native advertising, lead-gen campaigns...the list goes on and on.
With every new opportunity to spend money with our media brand we create a confusing landscape that doesn't necessarily drive new revenue, it just splits the pie more ways.
BoSacks Speaks Out: Bryan Welch, a Harvard graduate has successfully held positions as a publisher, editor, and advertising director in cities across the country from Connecticut to Washington State. He has been running Ogden Publishing as the publisher and editorial director since its inception in 1996. Ogden is a multi-title publisher with such titles as Mother Earth News, Mother Earth Living, Utne Reader, Gritand more than a dozen other titles. Bryan takes special pride as a pioneer in developing profitable digital multi-media platforms from a base in special-interest magazine publishing. His flagship title, Mother Earth News, is perennially one of the nation's fastest-growing and best-read magazines with over 4 million readers.
Blogs were pronounced dead in Fast Company in December of 2012 and in New Republic in April of 2013. And just before the New Year, a Forbes article declared the blog dead once again.
But from what I'm seeing blogs are leading the way when it comes reader response and are worth learning from. Don't you get jealous when you read a blog and it has been tweeted 288 times, shared on LinkedIn 142 times, and so on? I do. Those sure are not numbers many B2B publishers see when it comes to their articles being shared.
The Paradox: As publishers, we blame our consumers' changing content consumption habits for the decline in print subscriptions, but we are not changing what we print to reflect our audiences' evolving content consumption behavior.
Assuming that we are all adults here, it is time for a frank and honest conversation about the future of print. Never have I proposed the death of print, not even its near death. That is not happening and will not happen any time soon. But, my goodness! we do need to collect our thoughts and maintain some sobriety. Both Samir and Mr. Dead Tree have published recent articles about this non-death. Samir calls it, "the amplification of print in a digital age." I can live with that. But in my judgment the exuberance needs to tempered just a bit with the flip side of reality.
Big Data killed the value of unique B2C audiences before we called it Big Data. It's been years since someone selling cars has needed to advertise on a car enthusiast website to reach car buyers. Now auto ads follow car buyers around the internet like yellow-jackets at a barbeque.
Last week my friend, Baird Davis, wrote an article titled "The Transforming Consumer Magazine Business Has Not Been Good to the Newsstand." If you missed reading it, I suggest that you do so as soon as possible. In my opinion, it is necessary, sober and bold coverage of the state of our newsstand business.
Forgive me if this question comes across as a bit uninformed, but I have been trying to find the answer to a strategic and cultural question. I have searched Yahoo, Bing, Google, specific publishing industry sites, loads of publishing related blogs and still can’t find a definitive source! So before I ask the question I am asking you for help.