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The Mr. Magazine™ 2011 Manifesto for a Healthy, Wealthy and Lively New Media Year

January 2, 2011

Today marks the beginning of a new year. A very good beginning indeed. A beginning that starts with nothing but ones. Today is 1, 1, 11. So, in honor of this new beginning, here is The Mr. Magazine™ 2011 Manifesto, published in min: media industry newsletter‘s Jan. 3, 2011 issue:




GUEST COMMENTARY
SAMIR HUSNI

The Mr. Magazine™ 2011 Manifesto:
THE LUCKY 13 FOR A HEALTHY, WEALTHY AND LIVELY MEDIA FUTURE

Happy New Year! My “resolutions” are this manifesto, which I believe will make your season bright in 2011. Here’s my “baker’s dozen”:

1. Romance the customer, the reader, the user, the viewer, the listener– but NOT the machine. That should be your motto in 2011.
2. Stop renovating if you are going to be in the business of innovation.
3. Throw a ball from left field, surprising your customers, readers, users, viewers, and listeners every time you interact with them. Give them what they expect, but surprise them with what they don’t.
4. Humanize your medium. Focus on the human voice, values, and vision behind the ink on paper, pixels on the screen, or bytes on the sound waves. In an age of isolated connectivity, humanizing the medium is a MUST, not an option.
5. Do not be afraid to charge for quality content. People are paying big money for what you think is not quality content.
6. Change your thinking and decide what is quality content based on your customers, readers, users, viewers, and listeners. Do not create based on you, but based on them. YOU are NOT THEM. Big surprise.
7. Hire someone younger, much younger, if you really want to innovate. Established folks drag a lot of luggage with them, intentionally or otherwise. Some may call this the wisdom of age, but I call it old habits that are hard to die hard. The “young and restless” drag very few and have yet to cement their feet in old or new habits.
8. Free yourself from the past but do not uproot yourself during the pruning season.
The new leaves and branches are what make a tree look good, not the roots. However, without the roots there will be no tree.
9. Keep in mind that only 9% of companies survive any disruptive innovation. Start thinking (and bring in someone new to think for you) on how to be a minority survivor rather than a majority has-been.
10. You are living the dawn of a new age, the age of Transcended Media. Are you ready to start the conversation with your customers, readers, users, viewers and listeners? Are you ready to keep the conversation going and whet their appetite for more?
11. 2011 is no different from 2010 or 2000. If you are NOT creating an engaging, addictive, repetitive conversation with your customers, readers, users, viewers, and listeners, that only means one thing: you are DEAD.
12. So show the world you are ALIVE and START romancing your customers, readers, users, viewers, and listeners. Make love to them and not to the platform or machine. You OWE it to them. And…
13. Stop being only a content provider and marketer. Start becoming an Experience Maker. There is where your media future starts.

And that, my friends, will lead you into a healthy, wealthy, and above all, lively media world of 2011 and beyond.

Samir Husni, Ph.D., is founder (2009) and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, where he previously chaired the journalism department. Husni’s Mr. Magazine™ monicker comes from his tracking more than 18,000 launches since 1986, when his Guide to New Magazines debuted. The 26th edition of the Guide (Nautilus Publishing/Oxford, Miss.) will be released in February 2011.

A very happy and fruitful 2011 to all.

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18 comments

  1. [...] news media and what is going on in the world of mass media around you. First, start by reading the Mr. Magazine™ 2011 Manifesto here. That will be our main discussion in class [...]


  2. Number six is one that really stood out to me. It is key if what your publishing if for-profit. Number nine stood out as well, interesting statistic.


  3. Of these 13 resolutions, numbers 8 and 11 stuck out the most to me. Number 8 was by far my favorite though. I like it because what we go through in life shapes our character, but our past help keeps us planted.


  4. I agree with Mary Cosby about resolution number 8 in that we shouldn’t dwell on the past and should look forward to the future. Our future is shaped by our past and what we have learned only makes us stronger. I also like resolution number 7 because I believe that younger people represent a new generation and “we”, being the young people, can bring in new ideas.


  5. I like the idea of romancing the person rather than the machine. It reminds me that however much we get consumed by technology, the ultimate goal is to communicate with an actual person. The technology isn’t what keeps coming back for more, it’s the individual reader.


  6. In today’s changing world, I think that it is easy to get caught up in all of the chaos of being on the cutting edge. Many media outlets try to be too innovative or too different, and they lose their target audience. I think that number six is important because in order to be successful, you have to remember to create for your audience and not yourself. Also, this ties into number three because you can surprise your audience with something new, but you need to give them what they are familiar with.


  7. My personal favorite resolution is number eight, it is a universal idea that can be applied to all parts of your work and life. I think it is an insightful idea and one that should be followed. I also liked 4 and 10. I think we are in a very innovative time and we need history to be recorded in the best way possible and that humanizing writing is very important because its relatable.


  8. I agree with Mary Cosby and Bentley about number 8. With each new year, I always try to think about what I can do differently to not make as many mistakes and grow into a better person in all that I do. I also agree with Elizabeth as well, its an interesting way to look at it. That you are “romancing” your audience. But it is exactly what needs to be done to be successful.


  9. I agree with all of the things that everyone else has said. Number 10 also stood out to me because so many times people forget that in order to keep the audience interested they need to connect with them like you would in a conversation; friendly and casual. If the audience doesn’t feel that connection and that they are being talked to like a human being instead of a “machine”, you will become that majority has-been.


  10. I firmly believe in number seven, the idea that young people are the key to success. The young generation is growing up in the technology age, and with that brings a new and innovative edge to media. Older people have more experience, but the young have a lifetime of opportunities ahead of them and tend to be much more open to discussing a variety of subjects.


  11. Of all of these “resolutions” number 8 was my favorite. I think it is very true we must always stay true to yourself and your roots but we must also grow and learn as we get older.


  12. All these about resolutions about the audience bring up a question that I am struggling with. As journalist is it out job to tell the reader what they should know or what they want to know? The book also approaches this topic. From chapter 1 (in “Media Shift”) I get a sense that people are kind-of shallow. Will they read about a war or will they skip over it to check out the latest gossip? In my opinion, I want to tell the reader what they should know and not be intimidated by the 300 word celebrity column. The balance I feel is making real content attractive to an almost ADD reader.


  13. I believe all these are correct but number 7 stood out to me the most. I truly think it is so important who you hire and to hire someone young and creative. I think if you hire someone old yes, they may have more experience but they are going to be doing the same old stuff so to hire someone young, things can change in a positive way!


  14. I really enjoyed number 7 the most because I feel strongly that the younger generation is where the future success will derive from. Although the older generations are knowledgeable and experienced, the younger generations have determination and a desire for success, and this is where it all starts.


  15. Number six really appealed to me. I find that many people do not realize that what they like dose not always mean its what the consumer will like. While working as an intern last summer a worker at C.H. Gunther&Sons told me this “Its all about the costumer and what they want, make them want to buy it.” I feel that really applies to the Media Business as well.


  16. I strongly agree with Numbers 7 and 9 because in order for companies to thrive this day in age, a younger population is urged to step in and offer new creative ideas. It’s the 9% of younger folks that will not only provide inept material, but will also find ways to deter disruptive innovation. Powerful ways of forming organizations derives from the ability to create nuisances of inner light. The “young and restless” are today’s “majority survivors.” It is our news media and creativity that follows closely in line with premium advocacy.


  17. Out of all the resolutions, I liked number 3 the most. While I believe that you need to give the customers, readers, users, etc. what they want, suprising them every now and then is what keeps them interested. As we learned in class, repetition is the enemy of creativity.


  18. I think that number three is very good advice because if you give them the same old thing every time then your readers or consumers will lose interest. Your audience is looking for something exciting, they are not looking for the same old boring news that is obvious.



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