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What’s In A Magazine Name? A Mr. Magazine™ Musing

August 13, 2014

KATE-1POPE-master495oprah-061014spgcnLINDA-1rosie-odonnell-rosie-magazine-2000-photo-GCJFK47_cover_voor-webUnknowndr-oz-the-good-lifeThe Life of Jesus-5 (2)

W.C. Fields always said: “It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” And if you answer to the name Oprah, Linda, Dr. Oz or The Pope or even Jesus himself, chances are you’re going to have a magazine with your moniker stretched across the top of it.

Joining the ranks of magazines named after public personas; the latest to arrive on the scene is American Media’s Kate Magazine. A Princess should definitely have her own print kingdom, shouldn’t she? I think so.

From Jackie and JFK in the Netherlands to the Pope in Italy, there are a host of magazines named after the illustrious people in the realms of the stars, whether they’re entertainment dazzlers or more heavenly personalities, such as the Pope.

Really though, what is in a name? Well, revenue for publishers for one thing, recognition for customers another. Celebrities have always drawn attention to themselves without an abundance of trying, but never more so than in the publishing world.

Take Oprah for example, her TV talk show has garnered ratings for years. Harpo Productions has developed some of the most entertaining and popular films out there, such as “The Great Debaters” with Denzel Washington, “Beloved” with Danny Glover and just this year “Selma” with Tim Roth.

But O, The Oprah Magazine, first published in 2000, has brought her attention and loyalty from the print world. And no doubt about it, the name Oprah Winfrey had a whole lot to do with its success and continued prosperity, making it the most famous celeb magazine around today.

And so did Linda de Mol with her Linda magazine in The Netherlands (with at least four spin-offs so far).

However, where the idea sounds so easy to do, it takes “more than a village” of editors, designers and publishers to create a good print replica of the celebrity or illustrious person. Remember Rosie? It was a road map in what not to do.

And in the world of niche, book-a-zines dedicated to celebrities, both gone and still with us, continue to reign supreme in the realm of niche publishing.

From The Pope to The Stones, from John Wayne to Michael Jackson; celebrities of all stratospheric dimensions rule the world of book-a-zines.

Apparently, what’s in a name is a very big deal…in more ways than one.

So if you’re a mother-to-be out there and you’re deciding on a name for your little one, just remember two things:

1. Someday your child may be famous – so pick wisely.

2. In the world of magazines, what’s in a name can mean a lot more than space above a tagline – and if number 1. happens for your precious addition, then number 2. will definitely matter…

Happy Magazine Reading!

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WoodWing And Its CEO Roel-Jan Mouw Are Creating “Xperiences” Their Customers Will Never Forget – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview…

August 12, 2014

“It’s not one or the other. True success lies in the complimentary nature of digital and print, this is where we see customers deliver and increase their business and brand value.”… Roel-Jan Mouw

Mr-Magazine-and-Roel-Mouw_2 WoodWing Software develops and markets a premier, cost-efficient multi-channel publishing system and the next generation digital asset management system. Their solutions are aimed at magazine, newspaper and book publishers, corporate publishers, agencies and marketing departments to reach their goals for quality, economy and time-to-market. (Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni and Roel-Jan Mouw on the stage at the WoodWing Xperience in Lisbon, Portugal).

Roel-Jan Mouw is CEO of WoodWing software and is proud of the work his company does and in the series of “Xperiences” they are doing which involves a meeting of the minds of some of the most notable leaders in the industry.

I spoke with Roel-Jan recently and we discussed a few of the “Xperiences” which I have been graciously invited to speak at. The conversation surrounded innovation, creativity and excitement.

I hope you enjoy the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Roel-Jan Mouw as much as I did conducting it. So sit back and prepare to be enlightened on the support system WoodWing offers its customers through a variety of multi-channel publishing.

But first the sound-bites.

On the mission of WoodWing: We support companies to manage and deliver content to their audiences in efficient and innovative ways.

On the “Xperiences” and what WoodWing hopes to accomplish:
Xperience is a great opportunity to hear from leaders, meet existing WoodWing customers, and listen to their experiences – publishing through a variety of channels or managing millions of assets as part of their daily businesses.

On why a software company spends so much time and money on such “Xperiences”:
Listening to inspiring content for customers and thought leaders and spending time with peers is of great value to us and our customers. Xperience in that context is worth investments in both money and time.

On how he sees the relationship between print and digital:
It’s not one or the other. True success lies in the complimentary nature of digital and print, this is where we see customers deliver and increase their business and brand value.

On the similarities and/or differences of a global company based in the Netherlands from media companies worldwide:
As with many businesses there are many similarities. Many big media companies have the same challenges, finding the right strategy for smartphones is a great example.

On what keeps him up at night: What keeps me up at night are jet-lags, airports and trying to sleep on planes, trains and automobiles. I try to be customer facing all the time, traveling the globe, engaging and inspiring customers.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Roel-Jan Mouw, CEO – WoodWing.

Samir Husni: Let me start with the obvious first question, what is the mission of WoodWing?

Roel-Jan Mouw: We support companies to manage and deliver content to their audiences in efficient and innovative ways. We are on a mission to support brands engaging through multi-channel (publishing) strategies, increasing reach, loyalty and overall revenues for our (publishing) customers globally

Samir Husni: In addition to the software and help on the technical side, you are doing a series of “Xperiences” that I was gratefully invited to speak at. You recently did one in Lisbon, Portugal and you are doing another one in New York City this September… tell me a little bit more about those “Xperiences…” whom are they aimed at, what do you want to accomplish from them, who attends or who should attend them?

Roel-Jan Mouw: Xperience is a great social event, and an opportunity to learn about innovation, both on the product side and also within the industry. Cloud and BigData are two themes this year, as their inroads in our industry are accelerating. This alone makes the event worthwhile for C-level audiences who deal with a shift to Cloud and BigData in the publishing business.

Xperience is a great opportunity to hear from leaders, meet existing WoodWing customers, and listen to their experiences – publishing through a variety of channels or managing millions of assets as part of their daily businesses. Xperience is for every customer and partner who wants to learn more about how we support top publishers in 120 countries around the world.

Samir Husni: Why is a software company spending so much money and time in hosting such “Xperiences?”

Roel-Jan Mouw: Listening to inspiring content for customers and thought leaders and spending time with peers is of great value to us and our customers. Xperience in that context is worth investments in both money and time. Time is likely the most valuable resource, therefor our management team is available for meetings next to the event content to listen to customer challenges and share thoughts that resonate in our industry globally during the event.

We have seen great synergies between regions and customers, strategies and challenges. This is where we can add a lot of value to our customers and prospects’ challenges and why we believe this investment is truly worthwhile. Next to this we can connect our customers who are always happy to talk to peers. It’s simply a great opportunity to hear from leaders in the industry either 1:1 or through the formal agenda.

Samir Husni: How do you see the relationship between print and digital? Is there a future for print?

Roel-Jan Mouw: With the appearance of the iPad, WoodWing has been a front runner enabling publishers globally to publish Apps. In the last 4 years iPad and other digital devices, challenging economic turmoil and marketing automation & analytics have disrupted the traditional print and advertising business for publishers. Print publications are still critical to brands and together with social media, Apps and Websites, Brands can build a true multi-channel strategy driving more frequent engagement with their customers and maintain or grow revenue streams. It’s not one or the other. True success lies in the complimentary nature of digital and print, this is where we see customers deliver and increase their business and brand value.

Samir Husni: As a global company based in The Netherlands, what are the similarities that you see in media companies worldwide? What are the differences if any?

Roel-Jan Mouw: As with many businesses there are many similarities. Many big media companies have the same challenges, finding the right strategy for smartphones is a great example. Many companies are trying to find the best ways to capitalize on this opportunity.

Another trend we see is media companies realizing plane copy of print content into Apps is not supportive to stop decline of print and they are rethinking their strategies. Another aspect is the challenge for many customers to build their digital Apps. Off-shoring seems the logical thing to do today, and focus on content remains. Key differences clearly are economies (of scale) and geographical situation. In a city like Jakarta physical distribution of content becomes so problematic, this aspect alone is a key driver for new strategies for newspapers in Indonesia, where in Peru our customer El Comercio is able to geo their printed newspaper to record breaking circulation for Latin America.

Local economic aspects remain a key differentiators. But don’t be fooled, technology is a barrier; 4G is available in all major cities in most parts of the World. This accelerates the opportunity for Multi-Channel publishing and accelerates our business in Asia and Latin America as we speak.

Samir Husni: My typical last question, what keeps you up at night?

Picture 25 Roel-Jan Mouw: What keeps me up at night are jet-lags, airports and trying to sleep on planes, trains and automobiles. I try to be customer facing all the time, traveling the globe, engaging and inspiring customers. WoodWing has a great footprint in the market and with so many great customers being awake can be very inspiring! I’m looking forward to being awake in New York, meeting you and many others again.

To register and attend the free New York Xperience click here
.

© Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, 2014.

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A Reader’s Digest Genius… A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

August 8, 2014

Reader's Digest 1-1Reader's Digest2-2Reader's Digest3-3 Liz Vaccariello, Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest, has taken the single-topic niche to the next level with the September 2014 issue of RD. It is absolutely transcendent in presentation, design and content. The contemporary lines, while complex and unique, remain simple in effect, always the earmark of Reader’s Digest. Simplicity, style and beauty in each and every spread of the magazine denote a very compelling modernity, while maintaining the refined dignity of the publication’s past.

Liz is Vice President, Editor-in-Chief and Chief Content Officer of Reader’s Digest; so to say she wears many hats might be an understatement, but one thing that isn’t is her excitement and inspirational creativity that she has brought to Reader’s Digest.

The September 2014 issue is aptly titled “The Genius Issue” and is the brainchild of Liz who told me back in March when I interviewed her:

“We wanted to return Reader’s Digest to what it had always been for most of its 90 year history and that is a place for reading.”

And she has certainly done that… kudos to Liz and the entire Reader’s Digest staff.

Now the only thing missing form the magazine is the book excerpt and if brought back, I believe, Reader’s Digest will be the 21st century magazine build on the same foundation established by its founders DeWitt and Lila Wallace!

A good comfy read. A job very well done. Check some of the sample pages below…

Reader's Digest4-4Reader's Digest5-5Reader's Digest6-6

© Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, 2014.

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Magazine Innovation Center Presents: A Think and Do Experience. Meet the Speakers of the ACT 5 Experience

August 7, 2014

act5_poster What has become an obligatory annual pilgrimage to the Magazine Innovation Center in Oxford, MS, the Amplify, Clarify and Testify (ACT) Experience, is the only think and do experience that puts the magazine and magazine media experts together with other industry experts from all over the world in addition to 25 to 30 magazine students (future industry leaders) from The University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media. The goal of the Experience is to generate executable ideas for the magazine and magazine media industries. Space is limited so the sooner you register, the better the chances that you will be able to join the ACT 5 Experience. Click here to register or get more information.

This year’s experience takes place Oct. 7-10 and features (as of today with many more to come) some of the biggest and brightest names in magazine and magazine media industry leaders. The confirmed speakers so far are (in alphabetical order):

Gil Brechtel
President, Magazine Information Network (MagNet)
Alysia Borsa
SVP, Data and Mobile, Meredith Corp.
Vanessa Bush
Editor in Chief, Essence magazine, Time Inc.
Craig Chapman
Producer, Real Food Real Kitchens
Michael Clinton
President, Marketing and Publishing Director of Hearst Magazines
Steve Davis
President, Kantar Media’s SRDS
James Elliott
President, The James G. Elliott Company
Robert Hanna
Co-Founder, SVP Sales, Burst Media
John Harrington
Publisher, The New Single Copy
Brian Hoffman
EVP/Chief Creative Officer, Hoffman Media
Dana Points
Content Director, Meredith Parents Network
John Puterbaugh
EVP & Chief Digital Officer, Nellymoser
Malcolm Netburn
Chairman, CDS Global
Bob Sacks
Founder, Precision Media
Lisa Scott
Executive Director, Periodical and Book Association of America
Greg Sullivan
Co-founder and CEO, AFAR Media
Espen Tollefsen
CEO, Interpress, Norway
Bryan Welch
Publisher & Editorial Director, Ogden Publications
Haines Wilkerson
Chief Creative Officer, Morris Media Network
Tom Witschi
EVP, Women’s Lifestyle Brands, Meredith Corp.


Click here to register.

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What Goes Around, Comes Around: Peter Max’s City Covers…

August 5, 2014

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 6.04.31 PM There is nothing new under the sun and there is nothing new in the creative work of magazine designers and chief creative officers. When I saw Niche Media’s city magazines (Gotham, Ocean Drive, Boston Common, et. al.) use the famous art work of Peter Max to illustrate their magazine covers this month, I had a flashback to Oct. 2009 when Where magazine used Peter Max to illustrate 20 of their 37 titles.

I asked my friend Haines Wilkerson, Chief Creative Officer at Morris Communications*, publisher of Where magazine, whether he thinks imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. His “creative” answer:

“Peter Max is amazing with how much he can do when focused on a single theme, even when revisiting it years later to expand upon the idea. At Where®, we loved working with him on our network-wide “Where® Covers America” set in 2009. We all marveled as each cover art piece arrived, eventually coming together as a box set of 20 destinations, all released simultaneously with our October issues of that year. It’s great to see our friends at Niche having the same fun, to the Max.”

See six samplings of the Where covers from 2009 and the corresponding covers from Niche Media’s 2014 cities below and judge for yourself.

NewYork_PMax_NoDateBIGGotham-86

WashDC_PMax_NoDatecapital file-85

Miami_PMax_NoDateOcean Drive Miami

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 4.23.48 PMimages

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 4.27.27 PMimages-2

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 4.29.00 PMimages-1

© Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, 2014.
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* For the record, I work as a consultant for Morris Communications but had nothing to do with the Peter Max covers. They were Haines Wilkerson’s idea and execution.

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Now You See It, Now You Don’t: National Geographic Traveler and the Vanishing Yellow Border

August 4, 2014

National3-82National2-81National-80 National Geographic Traveler, the number one selling travel magazine on the nation’s stands, wants to do even better… Enter the newest “test.” No, it is not the image, or the type, or even the price. National Geographic Traveler is testing the famous eternal trade-marked yellow border.

Three different covers are currently on the newsstands: one with a full yellow border, one with a fading yellow border (the norm for the last two years or so) and one with no yellow border.

Which one do you think will give NGT a sales lift on the newsstands? Let me know what you think, but first read what Keith Bellows, NGT, VP and Editor in Chief told me about this test:

“You really can’t assume that what worked on the newsstand a few years ago still does. We ‘re doing well– but can we do better? There are supposedly ‘rules’ for what does well on newsstands but rules don ‘t sell magazines. We are now testing every approach to see if we can get 5 percent smarter–and do 5 percent better. After 30 years of building covers for newsstand, I’ve learned four things–channel your readership and what you know them to want; trust your gut; factor in all the ‘science’ your circulation folks live by; and know that nothing is certain–particularly that you win or fail partly because of what your competition does…from color and lines to subject and approach. We have an iconic brand and are trying to figure out how best to leverage it.”

© Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, 2014.
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Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor: It Was A Jubilant July – With 77 New Titles – 22 With Frequency…
See each and every one of the new magazines’ crop. Click here to view.

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Traveling the World One New Magazine at a Time… A Mr. Magazine™ Musing.

July 31, 2014

When many people travel they attempt to learn words and phrases from their host countries in order to communicate and understand the local citizens better – and while that is a most noble and natural cause; when Mr. Magazine™ travels, not only is communication a priority, but also the word “new” is paramount on his list. Whether it’s nouvelle, noveau, jadīd or neu; Mr. Magazine™ revels in the many ways to say the word new.

husniinriga At the newsstands in Riga, Latvia.

Why, you might ask? Because new inserted before the word magazine is an exciting prospect to me and when you put the word stand behind it (OK – plus an extra “s”), the word newsstand is born. And I ask you; what could be more thrilling than new magazines and newsstands in foreign countries?

I can’t think of anything.

While most people when traveling to foreign lands are picking up a guide or a map to the best museums or the best places to visit, such as the National Museum of Beirut, Belem Tower in Lisbon or Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, Mr. Magazine™ is searching for newsstands, asking locals to show him where the best in the city he’s visiting is located and the quickest route to get there.

And visiting I did. In the last five months or so, my travels took me to Cape Town, South Africa…Riga, Latvia…Paris, France…Amsterdam, The Netherlands….Lisbon, Portugal…Helsinki, Finland…Munich, Germany and Beirut, Lebanon to name a few.

I have delivered presentations and seminars ranging from trends in magazines to the need to place the customer or the audience first in these wonderful countries and while the presentations and the meetings went very well, it is that newsstand street education that was the secret ingredient that held all the seminars and presentations together.

A newsstand in Riga No shortage of magazines in Riga, Latvia.

There is a lot to be learned from a visit to a newsstand anywhere in the world, they remain the best reflector of any society and the latest magazines found there are the new blood of any newsstand. And as I traveled the globe this summer, it dawned on me that this revelation must be shared to be appreciated. So typically, I began to buy these new magazines, searching nooks and crannies of cities so beautiful, they took my breath away, to find sometimes quaint, sometimes immense newsstands across the world. And from my determined hunts, I gathered some of the finest and most creative ink on paper products that I have seen in a long time.

So for your viewing pleasure, take a look at the treasures I brought back from a few of the world’s newsstands and…Vive le pouvoir des revues imprimées!

Until my ship sails again…
Mr. Magazine™
© Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, 2014.

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