ACT 5 Experience: The Future of Digital Begins with PRINT. Day One

October 8, 2014


Michael Clinton and Roy Reiman: Spot-On and Into the Future

By Lisa Scott, Executive Director, Periodical & Book Association of America (PBAA)

Can “Mr. Magazine” Samir Husni do it again? How can he possibly improve on the past four informative, entertaining, provocative conferences? If Tuesday night’s welcome and keynote address are a preview of the next few days, the bar has been raised yet again at Ole Miss!

Take an engaged and well-fed crowd of 175 speakers, guests, students, and attendees from around the world and add a dose of Roy Reiman’s plain-spoken yet “spot-on” insights into why this conference matters, and how he’s managed to have fun while achieving unique publishing success. Then bring on Michael Clinton who wowed the audience with a myriad of spectacular and inspiring Hearst magazine strategies, successes, and new ventures under the banner of “Magazine Media- Why the Future is Bright.” Mr. Clinton’s energy and passion were contagious and a source of terrific ideas for discussion in the classroom and in the workplace.

Some take-aways from Tuesday evening…

IMG_6480 From Roy Reiman (founder, Reiman Publications):
• The Act conference brings together people who are “doers instead of dreamers” who are not afraid to share both their mistakes and their successes
• Content should be so well done, so interesting, so desired by readers that they will pay
• Know your readers- for Our Iowa and Our Wisconsin they enjoy the “hunt” for “needles in a haystack”- in this case the letter “I” or “W” in ads- resulting in thousands of entries for advertiser prizes which drive readers to report that they “read” ads first in the magazine, which drives advertisers to sign multiple issue and full year contracts without a real ad sales person.
• Creativity is the engine that powers publishing
• “The day that this isn’t fun, I quit”

IMG_6484 From Michael Clinton (President, Marketing and Publishing Director of Hearst Magazines):
• Our children and grandchildren will still read print: “I’m with my people here at Act”
• Design your covers and content based on what you know your readers want
• Get the “pulse of the zeitgeist” to know what Americans are looking for
• Continuing investment in launching new print magazines speaks to the vitality of the medium
• If print is dying, why was the 2014 launch of Hearst’s Dr. Oz, the Good Life, such a fantastic success- it sold out on newsstand, had 300,00 subs in 4 months
• Magazine readership is relatively constant at 187 million, while there is massive disruption of TV audiences
• Hearst “Unbound”- magazine brands now exist on a global scale, on many platforms: social media, you tube videos, website, mobile, tablet, targeted editions (Cosmo for Latinas, for example)
• Audience matters- instead of measuring ad pages- now launched “Magazine Media 360” to measure how readers are connected to magazines across multiple platforms
• Printing innovations are bringing paper to life, as with Marie Claire five “origami” covers, zippered “jeans” cover
• Every reader comes into a magazine through the cover- need “stickability and viewability”
• Activating consumers off the page- rolls into e-commerce to drive immediate purchase of products in the magazine
• Geo and database targeting are targeting products to readers –editorially and with advertising
• Challenge is how to get advertisers to pay for the creative sales work editors are doing for them
• Traditional advertisers didn’t tell the consumer “what to do”- now they are sending the consumer to their website and driving immediate sales
• Magazine readers own tablets, but tablet reading is averaging only 4% of magazine readership
• You must shed your legacy thinking as a magazine publisher- need to wear a digital hat
• Hearst Digital Media – Months to Moments- to be competitive you have to be constantly posting and updating websites… the brand must be elastic- go wide to cover everything that (for example) a millennial woman might be interested in
• Go big or go home
• Brand integration (advertising with editorial) is a continuing focus for editors
• New series #GOBOLD to find “the new provocateur” is extending Hearst brands in many way and driving viewers back to print
• Fresh, new good ideas can build a great product in print- but you need to go beyond that
• Don’t give away your editorial- web content is not the same as the print product
• Keep your readers excited about the brand
• Getting advertisers to share revenue with magazines as the result of sales through the interactive branded products is like “affiliate marketing”- publishers need to develop this revenue stream

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