Voice of the Industry
On Print Magazines, 21st Century Love & Bias Among Media Buyers
By Bob Sacks
Published: November 1, 2012
I am pretty sure that most of us have been unceremoniously dumped in our youth by a boyfriend or a girlfriend at one time or another. I am sure some of us also went back and begged for either forgiveness, a new understanding and/or a chance at a do-over. In adolescence these are normal and understandable actions.
I'm pretty sure in most cases pleading, cajoling and personal makeovers are usually ineffective, as we are usually what we are with moderate amendment possible on the whole, and in many cases, new romances have a tendency to be right around the corner. A new pretty or handsome face is in most cases a fine cure for the why-don't-ya-love-me blues.
I am waxing poetic about love here, because the Australian Magazine Association seems to be in deep need for some loving and are publicly wondering where the romance has gone.
In human experience and most assuredly in business you can't just make someone love you without being lovable in the first place.
Speaking from a publishing perspective, every niche has its own Ernest Hemingway or Agatha Christi. Every sector has its Stephan King or Jacqueline Susann. Our jobs as magazine publishers are to get the best writers and editors on the planet to represent our particular brands and unique fields of interest. You can no longer fire the highest paid, best editor and writer on your staff to make short-term ends meet, success won't happen that way...ever.
Your survival in this complex media jungle is to produce the best reading experience possible. In 21st century publishing second best will not do any more, as second place is now equivalent to exposure to possible extinction. We are now competing with the entire planet for attention from people with only a limited time to spend on reading and a vast, infinite universe of readily available material to read.
It turns out that Australia's big three magazine publishers are ramping up plans to tackle what they believe to be a baffling bias among media buyers against magazine advertising as part of a push from the recently revived Magazine Publishers of Australia. My advice to the Australians and any other group that wishes to stay in business is to produce outstanding excellence on a consistent basis. Doing so will get them the readers and the advertisers that they will then richly deserve. Not having superior content dooms them to wonder where all the love has gone.
Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires.
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld