Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Inspiration from The Economist's Paul Rossi

I had a good time this evening at the opening of MagNet and Paul Rossi’s talk “Building a Media Brand for the Future”. Registration in the conference is apparently way up this year and I think despite the ubiquitous doom and gloom of 2009 (perhaps inspiring the tragic Toronto weather), the mood in the talk and the room was one of optimism that magazines, with the right investment (not just of money, but of time and faith and great ideas), will continue to find a devoted readership even in the midst of the immense technological and consumer shifts we’re seeing in our culture.

The main theme in Rossi’s talk was of building a product for readers and of shifting your economic dependence as far toward readers and away from advertisers as possible. He also spoke on the importance of maintaining a strong brand across all platforms, even down to the colour of your subscription card inserts. His examples of some of The Economist’s branding strategies were so convincing that I’m ready to pick up a copy, which I don’t think I’ve done since I was a Poli Sci undergrad late last century. (I shared a subscription with a friend – we couldn’t afford our own.)

So how does this relate to the web? Rossi touched upon their website only briefly but two key points stand out to me. First, he maintained that the idea of web readership cannibalizing print subscriptions is a myth – they haven’t seen any evidence of that happening. Second, his emphasis on producing a quality product above all other goals applies to all platforms, not just print. In the future (which is now), readers consume their media across multiple platforms – don’t let a poorly attended-to website pull down your brand.

- Kat Tancock
About Me
Kat Tancock
Kat Tancock is a freelance writer, editor and digital consultant based in Toronto. She has worked on the sites of major brands including Reader's Digest, Best Health, Canadian Living, Homemakers, Elle Canada and Style at Home and teaches the course Creating Website Editorial at Ryerson University.
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I'm there says:
breesir, to answer your question, the reason magazines don't have dedicated web editors is quite sim...
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