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37 good things I have learned from the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress

May 10, 2009

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I just came back from London after attending the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress. Here are the 37 good things I have learned from the conference. You will notice that I have focused on the positive things, since media reporters and pundits alike chose to focus on every negative statement that was made in the Congress. Take those 37 positive statements and compare them with you’ve read and heard from the rest of the media world, and I can assure you that you will see, as I do, the cup as half full and not have empty.
All of the following 37 statements come directly from the different speeches and panel discussions that were held during the two-day event in London on May 5 and 6:

1. It is important to adapt a long-term perspective and to accept the short-term decline.
2. Magazine companies will continue to acquire publications and will emerge leaner but better able to compete in the years ahead.
3. The magazine industry may find a new role after one or two false starts
4. By the 4th quarter of 2009 the advertising issues will hit bottom; by 2010 it will be flat.
5. Journalism is an extremely expensive business.
6. The music has suddenly stopped and now we are having a cold shower. In the magazine world the problem is the economy.
7. The digital model (we have now) is a dumb model: putting dollars to chase cents.
8. Increasing traffic to your site is not a trade off: you can’t monetize traffic.
9. The web is a great enabler.
10. Continue to make sure that you are producing quality content (and not just content) and enduring brand. Keep the brand relevant.
11. Continue to invest in valuable editorial content. Content others can’t replicate.
12. If all publishers agree to charge for content, what would Google do?
13. We will still launch new magazines: it is still a very good business.
14. Even newspapers will have longevity.
15. Great magazines are not simply great content; they have a heart and a soul and they will be with us for a long, long time.
16. Magazines have the ability to have an intellectual exchange with the readers.
17. You can’t substitute the magazine experience; it is a treat and is welcomed in your private space.
18. Magazines provide a quality reflective experience and a beautiful thing to have.
19. Do not call the established media traditional media; call it Analog.
20. Do not blame digital and keep in mind it is not yet time for obituaries.
21. Take complete advantage of your brand.
22. Do not stand still.
23. Unlike many sectors, Gucci will see a decrease in luxury online spending.
24. Magazines are still useful, relevant and interesting.
25. Digital and online are like a “successful parasite that does not kill its host.”
26. Google is not a media company; it is a technology company.
27. Magazines are robust and tactical products. The best lifestyle package to sell every issue.
28. Select your best brands and invest in them.
29. The current crisis should help us innovate and find new sources of revenue.
30. The brand DNA should transfer to the web; not the ink on paper magazine.
31. Once you feel safe you should start thinking about the incoming danger.
32. Paper provides emotional engagement and attention: the so called “Did you see moment?”
33. Print is a moment in time. We need to get consumers to value that moment.
34. Content creates conversation; utility creates engagement. Only outstanding content is king and queen.
35. Those who believe that paper and print will disappear, there is only one word to pronounce – nonsense
36. Don’t waste the crisis. Use the time to start thinking. Take advantage of magazines great brands. Magazines have built communities long before the internet started.
37. Ten years from now we will remember the current situation as one of the greatest financial opportunity in the history of our magazine industry.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here you have it in 37 simple aforementioned statements that I hope will push us to innovate and amplify the future of our magazine industry. We are not dead yet, and we will not be for a long, long time.

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6 comments

  1. >If all publishers agree to charge for content, what would Google do?

    Shrug and ignore you, if that’s what you want.


  2. [...] Husni’s recent blog entry, “37 good things I have learned from the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress” is a bright [...]


  3. It’s good that you are attempting to revive the magazine industry.


  4. 37 plus points mentioned in favour of PRINT are not new, but industry started underestimating for sometime, reminded well by Samir


  5. I agree with Ashley, although he hasn’t put much. It is good to see that there is some one who is trying to help the magazine industry. WebWindows is here to help you.


  6. I enjoyed the fipp as well and your blog. Allow me to attach some comments to your 37 good things.

    1. It is important to adapt a long-term perspective and to accept the short-term decline.
    BM- Take advantage of the current situation to build a streamlined, efficient operations structure.

    2. Magazine companies will continue to acquire publications and will emerge leaner but better able to compete in the years ahead.
    BM- Build a multi-magazine structure that allows for synergies in the group.

    3. The magazine industry may find a new role after one or two false starts
    BM- Be prepared with a solid technology platform in place
    4. By the 4th quarter of 2009 the advertising issues will hit bottom; by 2010 it will be flat.
    BM- Catch every possible available ad. Delay the ad deadlines to the very last minute.

    5. Journalism is an extremely expensive business.
    BM- Be more efficient. Cut costs. Implement a Freelancers and Rights Management system

    6. The music has suddenly stopped and now we are having a cold shower. In the magazine world the problem is the economy.
    BM- Control cost. Cut fat that don’t add value. Improve processes.

    7. The digital model (we have now) is a dumb model: putting dollars to chase cents. Keep experimenting cheap with Internet.
    BM- Don’t sleep. Don’t kill too early the magazines in print

    8. Increasing traffic to your site is not a trade off: you can’t monetize traffic.
    BN- It’s not enough, but it is a beginning. Build up business on the community

    9. The web is a great enabler.
    BM- Right

    10. Continue to make sure that you are producing quality content (and not just content) and enduring brand. Keep the brand relevant.
    BM- Have a Content Management System. Train the editors and writers on the new rules.

    11. Continue to invest in valuable editorial content. Content others can’t replicate.
    BM- Have a Content Management System. Look for new channels to monetize this unique content. Syndication. Franchises.

    12. If all publishers agree to charge for content, what would Google do?
    BM- They will keep addressing the traffic to your site, as today

    13. We will still launch new magazines: it is still a very good business.
    BM- Have in place a good information system that helps you in taking decisions

    14. Even newspapers will have longevity.
    BM- Well, some more than others. The healthier ones with engaged communities, like the magazines: local newspapers

    15. Great magazines are not simply great content; they have a heart and a soul and they will be with us for a long, long time.
    BM- And that is part of the branding, also online and in events

    16. Magazines have the ability to have an intellectual exchange with the readers.
    BM- Forums or blogs work specially well with magazines

    17. You can’t substitute the magazine experience; it is a treat and is welcomed in your private space.
    BM- Right!

    18. Magazines provide a quality reflective experience and a beautiful thing to have.
    BM- Printing quality, inserts, samples, etc. are impossible to be replicated online

    19. Do not call the established media traditional media; call it Analog.
    BM- It’s a clever point

    20. Do not blame digital and keep in mind it is not yet time for obituaries.
    BM- …and move quick to be somebody online blocking newcomers to your place

    21. Take complete advantage of your brand.
    BM- There are a lot of possibilities to build it stronger

    22. Do not stand still.
    BM- Readers keep moving

    23. Unlike many sectors, Gucci will see a decrease in luxury online spending.
    BM- Sorry. I don’t see the point

    24. Magazines are still useful, relevant and interesting.
    BM- Absolutely

    25. Digital and online are like a “successful parasite that does not kill its host.”
    BM- Why not a new window to our patio’s neighbors?

    26. Google is not a media company; it is a technology company.
    BM- …and a powerful advertising agency.

    27. Magazines are robust and tactical products. The best lifestyle package to sell every issue.
    BM- Make a careful planning of every issue and set partial deadlines.

    28. Select your best brands and invest in them.
    BM- OK

    29. The current crisis should help us innovate and find new sources of revenue.
    BM- The re-inventing process was a plus, now is a must.

    30. The brand DNA should transfer to the web; not the ink on paper magazine.
    BM- …not forgetting the paper. Allies, not enemies.

    31. Once you feel safe you should start thinking about the incoming danger.
    BM- … believe in the future of your brands and start working.

    32. Paper provides emotional engagement and attention: the so called “Did you see moment?”
    BM- Paper is far from dead

    33. Print is a moment in time. We need to get consumers to value that moment.
    BM- …the so called ‘experience’ of reading a magazine is what differentiates them from newspapers

    34. Content creates conversation; utility creates engagement. Only outstanding content is king and queen.
    BM- Tag your content and save it. You’ll find many opportunities to sell it again

    35. Those who believe that paper and print will disappear, there is only one word to pronounce – nonsense
    BM- Let’s see how the support materials evolve. At least for the next 5 years the visibility is clear.

    36. Don’t waste the crisis. Use the time to start thinking. Take advantage of magazines great brands. Magazines have built communities long before the internet started.
    BM- Great! It’s exactly that. Websites are deepening the engagement and widening the community

    37. Ten years from now we will remember the current situation as one of the greatest financial opportunity in the history of our magazine industry.
    BM- I totally agree



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