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New Orleans not good enough for National Geographic subscribers…

August 2, 2007

national-geographic-new-orleans-cover.jpgnational-geographic-maya-cover.jpg
… and the question whether it should be rebuild or not is limited only to the newsstands in a specific region of the country? I know magazines are using split covers more often these days because the technology make it possible to do that at a very cheap price. The question that I have is should we do something just because it is doable? More than one subscriber told me today that they were surprised to the see the August issue of National Geographic on the newsstands with the New Orleans cover. Their initial thought was that they missed that issue until they reached out and flipped the pages to find it is the same issue they have at home with the Maya story on the cover. Research shows us that people see and remember color first, pictures second and type third. Well, a change in the cover picture and in the type are two strikes against people’s memory and recognition and thus two strikes against National Geographic. If editors feel that a story and an image are worthy of being on the cover of the magazine, it better be on the entire magazine run. Unless the decision to send the almost 5 million subscribers the Maya cover (which is also the cover on the National Geographic website) and thousands of newsstand readers the New Orleans cover is not an editorial decision. My question is “Who is in charge?”

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