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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