Archive for the ‘Magazine Power’ Category

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Magazine Media Trends And What They Mean For Your Business. The ACT 9 Experience. Linda Ruth Reporting… Part 11

May 8, 2019

People tend to look to the past to predict the future, said James Hewes, president and CEO of FIPP, on the third morning of Mr. Magazine’s ACT 9. But the rate of change is happening faster than anyone could have foreseen. To be successful in the modern world, publishers need to change their business, to have four robust revenue streams. The number one stream should be paid content. As an industry we’re beginning to make back some of the ground we lost when we started giving away content for free. However there are ten additional revenue streams that Hewe identified, including philanthropy, IT, memberships, and events. The ad dependent model is not gone; however, it now needs to be one stream among several.

A second trend is consolidation, which, along with its attendant churn, will continue. At the same time, we’re seeing the emergence of new, independent publishers. New ideas and new thinking are coming into the market.

The most important revenue streams, paid content, has required some re-education of consumers, who are becoming more savvy as to the need to pay. In the news space, if you are not charging for content online, you’re not in the game anymore. The Economist is now charging the same for a digital subscription as for print, on the grounds that they are paying for the content, not the format. Then, once you have a focused audience, you need to transact with them through e-commerce and events. A lot of work needs to be done, however, to make the process seamless. It’s so easy to buy through one-click on Amazon, so difficult on most publisher sites.

Advertising has never been less important to the industry, which is in some ways a good thing. Publishers need to break down the silos in their business and create authentic, opinionated and purposeful native copy. Editors are the best guardians of content; they need to be part of this process. Ad blocking is everywhere prevalent; publishers can communicate the need to their readers to turn off the ad blocking technology.

Only about half the traffic on the internet is real people. The rest are bots. And half those bots are impersonators, scraping money out of the system to the tune of many millions of dollars of loss to publishers. About three quarters of online ad revenue goes to three players: Google, Facebook and Amazon. Everyone else splits up the rest.

Print is regaining its prestige. Every year FIPP finds innovations in the print space. Print offers strong journalism unavailable online. Private Eye, the UK satire magazine, is growing because it never embraced digital. Publications are creating new packaging for enhanced reader value. Brands are exploring higher quality premium products.

You cannot rely on Facebook for traffic. A lot of companies did; but Facebook can change their algorithm at any time. Eitghteen months ago they did so, and publisher traffic fell by half. The ad-funded digital editorial model might not be sustainable for this reason. The change made Google the single biggest source of referral traffic. All the others put together are insignificant. Apple’s business model is to destroy anyone else’s business model. In any case, reliance on a single revenue stream is risky.

Platform-focused content: ask yourself, do they enhance your brand? Does a financial services brand need a snapchat account? Each platform really needs original content.

Ai is being used to power content recommendations; to edit homepages or section pages on a site; routine journalism; changing marketing approach for dynamic paywalls, and, crucially, translation. Look at the potential of AI and what it can do for you; it could enhance content output by aiding research and commoditizing dull and repetitive tasks. AI is going to have the biggest effect on media among all industries.

Diversity is the biggest issue in the question of talent and culture, creating an attractive workplace environment. Companies need to cultivate it. Change can’t be driven from the top down; it needs to percolate up from the base.

The trend report was taken up by Jerry Lynch, president of the MBR, who takes us beyond the transaction to the audience. Who is reading this product?

45% of all US growth is coming from non-store retail. Retailers need to change with their customers, who are getting more urban, older, more diverse, and more polarized in terms of income. Retail growth reflects evolving shopper priorities with online growing the most; however, supermarkets are still big and growing. If you look at the online sales environment, for the most part magazines aren’t there.

The omni channel evolution is closely anchored into the evolving fulfillment system: ship to home, in-store pickup, curbside pickup, grocery delivery, on-demand delivery, surprise subscription, and auto-replenishment subscription. The store offers scale, but the omnichannel shopping represents growth. As omni channel takes market share, it’s going to effect the retail mix also.

No category in the store has a stronger presence in mobile than publications. We need to use that mobile connection to sell products.

The trends reveal opportunities. We can see the changes, and need to adapt our business models to take advantage of them.

To watch both of the aforementioned presentations please click the videos below:

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John French On Reinventing Legacy Media. The ACT 9 Experience. Linda Ruth Reporting… Part 10

May 8, 2019

When did “legacy” become a bad word? James French, President of French LLC asks. We used to want to leave a legacy. And what is the difference between journalism and “new media”? We shouldn’t even need the name.

You should expect as much sizzle, as much beauty, in trade magazines as in consumer—because the people who read those magazines are consumers, professional consumers. When French improved the look of his print magazines, the digital design improved along with it, tracking the improved morale of his team. Magical things can come from makeovers. If something is legacy, is old, is not working—ask why. What can a redesign, a fresh perspective accomplish?

There are no legacy products. It’s how you view the product and what you do with it. How many swings at the piñata are allowed? As many as it takes to break through. You don’t only get one shot. There are lots of shots. No matter how good the dogfood is, if the dog doesn’t like it t’s no good. Keep changing it till it works.

Nowadays everything is legacy: print, online, events, mobile, social. It’s all legacy. What you need to figure out is what it’s going to take to make it vibrant.

Be a force in the industry. Treat everything as new, fresh, worth work and change. Don’t treat it as legacy. Print is personalized, changed, evolving—but it isn’t legacy, French told the assembled students. It’s part of the mix. You are alive, you have a chance to change something. Don’t say you’ll work on this, not that. You are in media. Be in media.

To watch John French’s presentation please click on the video below:

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Sports History Magazine: A New Publication That Revisits Some Of The Best & Most Provocative Moments In The World Of Sports – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Gill Schor, Founder & Editor In Chief…

May 7, 2019

A Mr. Magazine™ Launch Story…

“The digital platform is basically to collect all of the articles that I’ve been writing myself and other authors and journalists, and put them in a digital archive that’s available to a readership. And along with that goes out a weekly newsletter to interested parties. Now, I wanted to do a print version of that because it’s very hard for me to make money on the digital end, so I figured if I do the print I could try and explore ways through subscriptions, advertising and newsstand sales to see if I could monetize the idea of Sports History Magazine.” Gill Schor…

Sports History Magazine is a new publication that focuses on the history of sports, not today’s live streaming or the graphic replays of gridiron heroes in real time, but an actual ink on paper magazine that captures the essence of some of the best (and worst) times in the history of sports. From the black and white photographs that take us all back to those times, to the engaging stories that pull back the edges of the eras to allow us to once again revel in those great sports moments.

Gill Schor is the entrepreneur whose own passion for sports history motivated him to fill a void in this very niche market. From banker to transportation guru, Gill has expertise in a wide field of businesses, but publishing is something that he is tackling as he goes forward. But his passion is serving him well as the magazine’s content is both engaging and spot on for the topic.

I spoke with Gill recently and we talked about his hopes for this new magazine and what he believes his target audience to be; sports history buffs, of course, but curious millennials as well. The future for this magazine seems bright.

So, I hope that you enjoy this very interesting conversation with a man who is both an entrepreneur and a passionate dreamer who has brought his chimera to life, the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Gill Schor, founder and editor in chief, Sports History Magazine.

But first the sound-bites:

On the idea behind the print magazine and the digital website: The digital platform is basically to collect all of the articles that I’ve been writing myself and other authors and journalists, and put them in a digital archive that’s available to a readership. And along with that goes out a weekly newsletter to interested parties. Now, I wanted to do a print version of that because it’s very hard for me to make money on the digital end, so I figured if I do the print I could try and explore ways through subscriptions, advertising and newsstand sales to see if I could monetize the idea of Sports History Magazine.

On his decision to do a sports history title: I was a banker by profession and I was laid off during the Great Recession in 2008, and then I started my own business but sold it, and then I wanted to venture into publishing. I’ve always enjoyed sports history in particular, reading stories about athletes, games and events from the past. Everything today is all streamed, or live, and graphic, but I wanted to stick to some traditional media form, the written word. And I was also a history major in college, so that was also the knowledge behind my mind.

On having no background in publishing and launching a magazine anyway: With no background in publishing, that’s correct, but some background in writing. It was a lot of trial and error and I see myself as an entrepreneur more than anything else, because before this I ran a transportation company, which I sold and before that I was in finance. I would say that my expertise is my knowledge of a little bit of everything, not a lot of one thing. I did a lot of reading and I spoke to people in the industry, I have some contacts in the industry, and very slowly I’m making my way into the business. Every day you learn something new. And it’s picking up some traction. So the challenge right now is to find the sweet spots to the business model.

On what he thinks the “sweet spots” to the business model are: I think it’s a combination of advertising, newsstand sales, and subscriptions. Combine that with a well-written and well-presented sports history magazine and I think that can work.

On why he thinks there’s a necessity for a print publication about sports history: I think there’s definitely an opportunity out there. If you go to Barnes & Noble’s newsstands, you’ll see dozens and dozens of publications out there that are broken up into every single niche you can imagine. So, maybe not all of them make money, but some of them make money. And there’s a reason why they’re there, why they haven’t disappeared.

On how he felt when he saw that first printed issue: It was a wonderful feeling to get the first issue, but it needed revisions because what you do on the screen and how you lay it out, you really need to see it in your hands and on paper. The first copy that came out, I wasn’t too satisfied with it. I loved the concept and I saw the potential, but the actual copy that I got, I wasn’t too happy with it. So, I went back to the designer and worked with her a little bit more, and we did a second revision and then the second copy that came out, I was happy.

On the biggest challenge that he faces: I think the biggest challenge that I’m facing right now is finding the money to support the venture. Right now, I have all of the content that I need; I’ve accumulated enough articles and photographs for probably two years’ worth of issues. But what I need is the money to launch and to do the primary investment and go forward. So, I can do limited editions, limited prints, but if I want to do 15, 000 or 20,000 copies and spread it to the world, right now I can’t afford that.

On whether the magazine is more of a love affair or a business: The part that I love about publishing now is, again, the novelty side of it and the topics. I love sports history. I’ve gotten a lot of kudos for the idea and people read through them and they like them. I think it can be a good business.

On who his target audience is: The audience is people of all ages, but they have to have a specific interest in the history of sports. In other words, with some of the baby Boomers, it may bring some nostalgia on their end if they start reading stories about their sports heroes when they grew up. They’ll see photographs of these people, black and white photographs, and it might ring some bells in their heads. That’s one segment of the population. The other one is young folks who are curious, curious about sports history, or the ones who have kind of had enough of their fill of the latest scores or what’s going on now. These graphic streams that go into their handheld devices, maybe they want some substance and some real history. There are people like that out there as well.

On the one thing he would have done different with the launch if he could do it over today: I think I could have controlled my costs better, because at the outset I really didn’t know much about the business, so it was basically learn as you go. I spent some money in areas which I think I shouldn’t have, it just didn’t work out and it was a waste. So, it was a learning experience. Some digital marketing ventures and some other places where I put money in. I learned those lessons.

On what he would like to do or tell someone he had accomplished with the magazine a year from now: A year from now what I would like to do is have a partner in the launch. Somebody who is either in the business as a media company or somebody who has financial resources, such as an investment group who wants to get into the business. So, a year from now I’d like to say that I had partnered with some people and we have a circulation of at least 5,000 or 10,000 out there with subscriptions and good acceptance in the market.

On anything he’d like to add: Sports History is a very interesting topic. Most people enjoy sports, maybe they haven’t been presented with sports history, but it’s something that people would enjoy reading and going through photographs and learning about sports history stories. They might have a lot of these a-ha moments, wow I didn’t know that, type of thing from some of these articles.

On the biggest misconception he thinks people might have about him: I know I have admirers and sometimes they might think more of me than what I am, because they see me remotely. They might think that I’ve achieved more than I have, but I try to keep myself very basic, very grounded. I don’t talk big or way over my head. But they know when I grab something, when I’m serious about something, I take it all the way.

On what he would have tattooed upon his brain that would be there forever and no one could ever forget about him: Driven with ideas, good business sense, good vision, good planning, good coordination, good organization, just a good head on his shoulders.

On what someone would find him doing if they showed up unexpectedly one evening at his home: You could find me reading a book or having dinner with my family, maybe watching a movie on TV, or going to the gym.

On what keeps him up at night: Fear of failure. That’s always kept me up; I don’t like to fail. I’ve failed in the past, yes, you can’t make it without failing once or twice, you can’t, because otherwise you’re not taking the risks. Fear of failure is what keeps me up. I’m healthy and my family is healthy, so thankfully those kind of worries aren’t there.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Gil Schor, founder and editor in chief, Sports History Magazine.

Samir Husni: You’ve just launched a new magazine, Sports History, and you’ve launched a weekly digital entity, Sports History Weekly, what’s the idea behind doing the print edition and also doing the website?

Gill Schor: The digital platform is basically to collect all of the articles that I’ve been writing myself and other authors and journalists, and put them in a digital archive that’s available to a readership. And along with that goes out a weekly newsletter to interested parties. Now, I wanted to do a print version of that because it’s very hard for me to make money on the digital end, so I figured if I do the print I could try and explore ways through subscriptions, advertising and newsstand sales to see if I could monetize the idea of Sports History Magazine.

Samir Husni: Are you a historian? Are you a magazine fanatic? Why did you decide to start this whole venture?

Gill Schor: I was a banker by profession and I was laid off during the Great Recession in 2008, and then I started my own business but sold it, and then I wanted to venture into publishing. I’ve always enjoyed sports history in particular, reading stories about athletes, games and events from the past. Everything today is all streamed, or live, and graphic, but I wanted to stick to some traditional media form, the written word. And I was also a history major in college, so that was also the knowledge behind my mind.

So, slowly I got the idea. I looked around and saw that there were no publications out there that focused exclusively on sports history. You’ve certainly got tons of magazines on sports, Sports Illustrated being one of the most famous ones. And occasionally they might have an article or two on some figure or events from the past, but there’s nobody out there that just focuses on sports history as a magazine in itself. So, I decided to take advantage of this vacuum and launch something on my own.

Samir Husni: With no background in publishing whatsoever, how did you do it?

Gill Schor: With no background in publishing, that’s correct, but some background in writing. It was a lot of trial and error and I see myself as an entrepreneur more than anything else, because before this I ran a transportation company, which I sold and before that I was in finance. I would say that my expertise is my knowledge of a little bit of everything, not a lot of one thing. I did a lot of reading and I spoke to people in the industry, I have some contacts in the industry, and very slowly I’m making my way into the business. Every day you learn something new. And it’s picking up some traction. So the challenge right now is to find the sweet spots to the business model.

Samir Husni: What do you think that sweet spot is?

Gill Schor: I think it’s a combination of advertising, newsstand sales, and subscriptions. Combine that with a well-written and well-presented sports history magazine and I think that can work.

Samir Husni: Do people think you’re out of your mind by doing a print magazine in this digital age? At least, you acknowledge that you can’t make money from the digital side, but why do you think there’s a necessity for a print publication about sports history?

Gill Schor: I think there’s definitely an opportunity out there. If you go to Barnes & Noble’s newsstands, you’ll see dozens and dozens of publications out there that are broken up into every single niche you can imagine. So, maybe not all of them make money, but some of them make money. And there’s a reason why they’re there, why they haven’t disappeared.

And there is still something to be said about leafing through a magazine or a book. They haven’t totally disappeared, they’re still there. I enjoy it. And there is certainly a segment in the population that enjoys it, maybe it’s the older folks, the Baby Boomers, I don’t know. But I also think that if you make interesting and engaging content with rich photographs in the magazine, I think you can get some interest and turn that into a money venture.

Samir Husni: When that first issue came off the press, can you recall that moment and how you were feeling? Did it feel like you were on top of the mountain then and ready to see what was next?

Gill Schor: It was a wonderful feeling to get the first issue, but it needed revisions because what you do on the screen and how you lay it out, you really need to see it in your hands and on paper. The first copy that came out, I wasn’t too satisfied with it. I loved the concept and I saw the potential, but the actual copy that I got, I wasn’t too happy with it. So, I went back to the designer and worked with her a little bit more, and we did a second revision and then the second copy that came out, I was happy.

And going forward for the next seasonal issue and with two choices, I have an idea that with each issue there are ways to tweak and revise to find the spot that pleases you most, in terms of how it looks and how it reads.

Samir Husni: What is the biggest challenge that is facing you?

Gill Schor: I think the biggest challenge that I’m facing right now is finding the money to support the venture. Right now, I have all of the content that I need; I’ve accumulated enough articles and photographs for probably two years’ worth of issues. But what I need is the money to launch and to do the primary investment and go forward. So, I can do limited editions, limited prints, but if I want to do 15, 000 or 20,000 copies and spread it to the world, right now I can’t afford that.

Samir Husni: Is the magazine more of a love affair than a business? For example, when you created your transportation company, you were not in love with cars and transportation, correct?

Gill Schor: No, but I had an idea in mind. I always look for little uncharted areas, so when I started my transportation company I launched it with all Hybrid vehicles, all electric cars. And that didn’t exist back then, that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Today, yes, it’s no longer a novelty, but back then it was an environmental side to the business which actually drew a lot of attention from customers. They jumped on it because it’s a very competitive field. If somebody wants to go out to the airport, they have at least 10 or 15 options that they can choose from. But the fact that I marketed it as the only environmentally friendly service, that caught people’s attention. And that’s the part that I was in love with back then.

And the part that I love about publishing now is, again, the novelty side of it and the topics. I love sports history. I’ve gotten a lot of kudos for the idea and people read through them and they like them. I think it can be a good business.

Samir Husni: Who is your audience? Who are you targeting the magazine for?

Gill Schor: The audience is people of all ages, but they have to have a specific interest in the history of sports. In other words, with some of the baby Boomers, it may bring some nostalgia on their end if they start reading stories about their sports heroes when they grew up. They’ll see photographs of these people, black and white photographs, and it might ring some bells in their heads. That’s one segment of the population. The other one is young folks who are curious, curious about sports history, or the ones who have kind of had enough of their fill of the latest scores or what’s going on now. These graphic streams that go into their handheld devices, maybe they want some substance and some real history. There are people like that out there as well.

It’s an educated population; it’s a middle-ground read. I think it would go well in libraries, actually, and I’m working with some distributors or agencies that supply magazines to libraries, to try and put this in their stacks.

Samir Husni: If you could do one thing different from what you’ve done so far, what would it be?

Gill Schor: I think I could have controlled my costs better, because at the outset I really didn’t know much about the business, so it was basically learn as you go. I spent some money in areas which I think I shouldn’t have, it just didn’t work out and it was a waste. So, it was a learning experience. Some digital marketing ventures and some other places where I put money in. I learned those lessons.

Samir Husni: As you move forward, if you and I are having this conversation one year from now, what would you hope to tell me you had accomplished with the magazine?

Gill Schor: A year from now what I would like to do is have a partner in the launch. Somebody who is either in the business as a media company or somebody who has financial resources, such as an investment group who wants to get into the business. So, a year from now I’d like to say that I had partnered with some people and we have a circulation of at least 5,000 or 10,000 out there with subscriptions and good acceptance in the market.

Samir Husni: Is there anything that you’d like to add?

Gill Schor: Sports History is a very interesting topic. Most people enjoy sports, maybe they haven’t been presented with sports history, but it’s something that people would enjoy reading and going through photographs and learning about sports history stories. They might have a lot of these a-ha moments, wow I didn’t know that, type of thing from some of these articles.

From my end, I’m an entrepreneur, I make sure that things get done. And once they get launched there’s a plan behind it, a vision behind it. We don’t aim for the moon; we’re realistic with what’s possible and what’s not. And it’s all about calculated risks. Nobody says that this venture is going to succeed 100 percent, but it’s a calculated risk. It’s not a reckless risk.

Samir Husni: What’s the biggest misconception you think people have about you?

Gill Schor: I know I have admirers and sometimes they might think more of me than what I am, because they see me remotely. They might think that I’ve achieved more than I have, but I try to keep myself very basic, very grounded. I don’t talk big or way over my head. But they know when I grab something, when I’m serious about something, I take it all the way.

Samir Husni: If you could have one thing tattooed upon your brain that no one would ever forget about you, what would it be?

Gill Schor: Driven with ideas, good business sense, good vision, good planning, good coordination, good organization, just a good head on his shoulders.

Samir Husni: If I showed up unexpectedly at your home one evening after work, what would I find you doing? Having a glass of wine; reading a magazine; cooking; watching TV; or something else? How do you unwind?

Gill Schor: You could find me reading a book or having dinner with my family, maybe watching a movie on TV, or going to the gym.

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

Gill Schor: Fear of failure. That’s always kept me up; I don’t like to fail. I’ve failed in the past, yes, you can’t make it without failing once or twice, you can’t, because otherwise you’re not taking the risks. Fear of failure is what keeps me up. I’m healthy and my family is healthy, so thankfully those kind of worries aren’t there.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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Great Moments In Magazine History… The ACT 9 Experience. Linda Ruth Reporting… Part 9

May 7, 2019

After the catfish fry, after the ice cream, after the mingling and talking and cocktail hour, Stephen Lomazow is going to walk us through the great moments in magazine history. He’s been collecting magazines since 1974 (americanmagazinecollection.com). The word “magazine has a military origin, meaning a “storehouse”; these publications were seen as a storehouse of information, and continue to be so.

America’s first magazine idea might have come from Benjamin Franklin, but he was scooped by Andrew Bradford; however, the first successful one was called The American Magazine, launched in 1745. Benjamin Franklin did sell it. The first American political cartoon was published in this magazine in 1758, a pro-British, anti-French advertisement.

The Royal American Magazine, published between 1774 and 1775, was one of the great inciters of revolutionary passion; its engravings were done by Paul Revere.

Thomas Paine’s Pennsylvania Magazine was the only magazine printed in 1775 and 1776; the June 1776 issue contains the first printed notice of independence, referencing the date of July 2nd. In April 1776 a black ex-slave, Phillis Wheatley, published an ode to George Washington as the first literary work in an American magazine.

In 1812 The War was the first magazine published to share contemporary reports of war.

The most important magazine in the second decade of the 1800s was the Analectic Magazine, published by Washington Irving of Rip Van Winkle fame. It published the poem which became America’s national anthem, sung to the tune of an old English drinking song.

Herman Melville published a series called Authentic Anecdotes of Old Zack (Zachary Taylor) in Yankee Doodle Magazine.

Leading up to the Civil War, the Anti-Slavery Almanac of the 1830’s published exposes of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Jennings. The most important anti-slavery magazine was The Liberator, published throughout the Civil War. The African-American Frederick Douglass published the North Star in the 1850s, along with Martin Robinson Delaney, an African American who graduated from Harvard Medical School and published the first novel by a black man in America.

The magazine that started the Civil War was The National Era, in which Uncle Tom’s Cabin was serialized. The two most widely circulated periodicals in the North were Harper’s Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Illustrations included The Sharpshooter by Winslow Homer. Broughton’s Monthly Planet Reader correctly predicted Lincoln’s assassination. The South’s equivalent publication was Southern Illustrated News.

The Spanish American War was the journalists war. They commissioned an artist to create The Yellow Kid and wrote sensationalist articles featuring him; hence the term “yellow journalism.” Hearst sent Remington to Cuba saying, “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.”

The famous iconic image of Uncle Sam by James Montgomery Flagg was adapted from a 1914 British poster of Lord Kitchener.

Norman Rockwell began his magazine covers during World War 1.

As a sign of unity and resolve, every magazine published in America in July 1942, had an American flag on the cover. Disney published a magazine with a racy centerfold illustration and sent it to all their employees fighting in the war; and Norman Rockwell adapted Rosie the Riveter from a Michelangelo. Amerasia magazine published leaked a top-secret state memo.

To watch Dr. Stephen Lomazow’s presentation please click on the video below.

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Why Independent Magazines Are Succeeding?… The ACT 9 Experience. Linda Ruth Reporting… Part 8

May 7, 2019

Day 2 of ACT 9 at the Magazine Innovation Center wound up with a panel of independent publishers, each with their own stories to tell:

Darren Sanefski, Moderator, Associate Professor of Multiple Platform Journalism, University of Mississippi
Jimmy Dean, former publisher Sarasota magazine, telling the stories of the community
Rob Hewitt, Founder, Oh-So magazine, celebrating the girls’ skateboarding community
Michael Kusek, Publisher, Different Leaf magazine, for the more mature cannabis consumer
Doni Ambrosine, Founder and Publisher, Culturs Magazine, the global multicultural philanthropic brand
Andrea Butler, Founder and EIC, Sesi Magazine, a teen magazine for girls of color
Monique Reidy, Publisher and EIC, Southern California Life and Weekend Escapes magazines.
Pam Woody, EIC Brio magazine, a voice for the teen space.

The panel has tips for magazine survival and success:

1. You need funding—but if you have the passion, go for it anyway. Sesi launched with basically no money, and is on its seventh year.
2. Choose carefully how you spend the money you have. Sesi saves it for their cover shoots.
3. You need a passion for what you’re doing, to get you through the inevitable valleys.
4. You need courage.
5. You need business savvy.
6. At some point you need to shut everything out and just go forward.
7. Look for the rewards. People stop Ambrosine on the street, cry, tell her how she changed their lives.
8. Keep learning. Read the trade press.
9. Be creative. Find your way around problems.
10. Print. There is still a desire and need for the tangible product, and it will be the driver of other platforms. 11. Use digital to drive people to print. Going from online to print Culturs stature rose a thousand percent. They doubled their reach in six months. Kusek says that at his level he will never make his money back on digital. And the creativity in graphic design has moved back to print, now that social media has killed the home page and digital design has moved to mobile.And as long as the platform isn’t yours, they can change and algorithm and shut you down tomorrow.
12. Put your digital focus on email. That list is yours, and a third party platform can’t take it. Use digital to give your readers ownership of the magazine. Use it to learn about your readers.
13.Innovate. Change with the times. Brio dropped celebrity, includes space for the girls to add their own thoughts, to interact with the publication.
14. Target your audience. It reduces the risk. Different Leaf is launching with 5000-7500 copies in the Massachusetts area, self-distributed into dispensaries and independent outlets.
15. Events can both generate revenue and build community. Gather your readers together. Different Leaf is doing an event on how to design a dispensary. It will also bring them to the attention of potential advertisers.
16. Know your vision, know your brand, stick with brands that align. You become known for who you are. Reidy’s magazines are mistaken for regional, but they’re not—they are travel magazines, so they don’t run articles about politics or businesses.
17. Keep your eye on your audience and make the best product you can for them. Don’t try to be all things to all people.Don’t let naysayers pull you off brand. Teen Vogue can never do what Sesi can, for example.
18. Remember to have fun while you’re doing it. Use this job to create the life that you want.

To watch the entire panel discussion click on the video below.

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The Importance Of Journalism And Literacy In A Democracy… The ACT 9 Experience. Linda Ruth Reporting… Part 7

May 3, 2019

“The future of democracy depends on you,” Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Issue, told the journalism students present at Mr. Magazine’s ACT 9, reflecting what Linda Thomas Brooks had said earlier in the day. Over the last couple of decades, the folks in the digital world have gotten in the middle of the relationship between the publisher and the audience. These platforms are amazing to enable a publisher to reach an audience; the key is to be able to reach this audience without doing endless versions of the content customized by platform. Think of it as providing pieces of existing content in ways consumers can read on any platform, wherever they are.

“I am out of a job today because of my stand for first amendment rights,” reported former journalism instructor Lori Oglesbee. “I was teacher of the year in Texas, and I lost my job because I refused to take down three articles.” Five kids can change a state, she tells the audience of enrapt students. Journalism is under attack today; but iwithout journalism, democracy fails. Students need to learn to be inquisitive, to discern the difference between biased and balanced reporting, to become thoughtful consumers of the news to improve their world.

No one has done more to get magazines into the hands of the at-risk communities than John Mennell, the founder of Magazine Literacy. Earlier today we leaned that children need print for the development of their brains, which stay on a distracted level in a digital-heavy environment; Mennell’s mission is to provide children throughout the world with magazines. Literacy, he told us, ends poverty of the pocket, mind and spirit. Echoing the other panel speakers, he said that freedom, independence and prosperity depend on literacy. In the US 18 million people live in poverty; 2/3rds of those children have no books at home.

A child unable to read is a child lost. Magazines, he told the group, are the most powerful literacy engines on the planet. There are over one million homeless students; these children are effectively invisible. Imagine giving a magazine to that child. It says: you see me. I matter. “I am here today because I want to share the joy I experienced from magazines as a child; I want to share it with the most vulnerable among us.” Our industry’s undivided attention toward literacy is crucial; the experience with reading materials is what is needed to create readers. There are tens of millions of magazines available that we as an industry can get into those homes, onto those coffee tables, into those backpacks. Because there are magazines for every interest, we can reach deep into this inventory to address specific literacy needs. Magazine Literacy has airlifted magazines to Inuit families in the Arctic Circle; and one of the families served opened a magazine stand in the village food pantry. One of ML’s goals is to open magazine stands in every food pantry throughout the world.

Magazine Literacy’s mission is to build the most powerful literacy marketplace on earth by tapping the enormous potential of magazines, and by engaging every stakeholder in the magazine supply chain to share the joy and the love and the incredible power of reading magazines with at risk readers. He has the mission that Jo Packham told us we all need; he has a dedication to the journalism that Lori Oglesbee has told us is necessary for the survival of a democracy; he provides children with the reading material they need, according to Linda Brooks, for the development of deep, undistracted thinking.

People died for free speech, said Oglesbee. It’s important. And, said Mennell, let’s get these reading materials into the hands of the next generation.

To watch the entire panel click on the video below:

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It’s All About Data… The ACT 9 Experience. Linda Ruth Reporting… Part 6

May 3, 2019

Every interaction gives a bit of data that enables you to learn about your audience and make strategic business decisions, said Dennis Hecht, VP Business Intelligence, Farm Journal magazine, on the first afternoon session of Mr. Magazine’s ACT 9. Over the past few years more data has been generated than in all previous history put together.

Companies must shift to a data-driven business, one which gives privacy back to the customer. In contests of opinion against data, the data wins; when the contest is data against data, the best data wins. The key value drivers are timeliness, uniqueness, actionable, adjacency to opportunity, and the value of the monetary opportunity.

In using data to create sales, Hecht tells us, it’s important to consider the customer’s intent at both the top and the bottom of the sales funnel. Data can conceivably be used to eliminate a step in the funnel—if someone is ready to make a purchase before going through the entire process. Data is also used to build different versions of the magazine based on audience needs. Different pieces of content can be inserted in different versions of the magazine. A corn story will be inserted into the copies going to corn farmers; a cattle story to the cattle farmers. This customized experience can also be re-created online.

Dan Heffernan, VP of sales, marketing, and product planning for Advantage CS, serving the magazine community on the subscription side, picked up the data story from there. You need accurate data for informed decisions; and the next step of gathering masses of data is making it actionable. To do so, Heffernan said, you need to seed the data people with the business team and the business team with the data people. You identify KPIs—key performance indicators; these are often mid-identified. The KPI has to have a practical correlation with the satisfaction of the reader; so the number of copies released, for example, might be less important than retention. Bi-lateral literacy.

Your KPI will be based on your goals, which will be based on your mission. If you identify building and maintaining relationships as your mission, it affects what your key indicators are and how you go about improving them.

Overwhelming as data might be, it is a precious tool in building and improving your business, Heffernan says. Your next million dollar improvement is already hidden in the data. Learn to read it.

Click the videos below to watch Dennis Hecht and Dan Heffernan presentations:


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