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Some takeaways from our March / April issue

James Evelegh picks out some takeaways from the March / April 2024 issue of InPublishing magazine.

By James Evelegh

Some takeaways from our March / April issue

The March / April issue of InPublishing magazine was published last week. Here are some of my takeaways from it:

  1. “The trick we pulled off at The Guardian was the Australian and American expansion to turn The Guardian into a global brand which has succeeded in spades,” former editor Alan Rusbridger tells Ray Snoddy.
  2. Provenance is all-important. Just a few days after the Kate photo manipulation furore, she turned to BBC Studios to make the video about her cancer diagnosis. It was filmed several days before its release and kept secret by a trusted media organisation. And when it broadcast, everyone believed it (with a few crazy exceptions).
  3. Forward-thinking news organisations should be looking to build unique content and experiences that can’t be easily replicated by AI.
  4. There’s an abundance of low-quality content out there, so rise above it; brands need to invest in high quality content. Quality and brilliance in content creation will always be the cornerstone of audience engagement.
  5. How vital are you to your customers? If the answer is ‘not very’ or ‘less than before’, then you could be in trouble. That is why it’s important to keep asking the question.
  6. If you want to dramatically increase your video output, then you have to democratise video production – train your editorial teams so that they have the skills they need to create content across multiple formats.
  7. Achieving ESG goals is a matter of momentum; take the foot off the pedal and it’s all too easy to slip back into a stagnant status quo.
  8. Be agile and embrace change: The pace of change is unlikely to slacken, so you need to be comfortable with that. Your information products will need to constantly evolve. Don’t expect them ever to be “finished”.
  9. Publishers often talk about ‘customer focus’ without actually doing any research. Without proper insight, you’re left at the mercy of subjective internal decisions.
  10. Where you have audiences that want a deeper and more meaningful relationship with you, membership offerings work well. This is the path Hearst UK is going down with titles like Women’s Health and Men’s Health.
  11. For local magazines like Round & About, there is nothing yet to suggest that revenues from print can be replaced by digital sales.
  12. In the most effective commercial content partnerships, the client brings their own expertise to the offering and adds value to the content created. Two stand out examples of this type of behaviour are Halifax’s sponsorship of The Sunday Times ‘Best Places to Live’ and Boots’ ‘Project You’ campaign.
  13. Three top tips when recruiting: Hire for attitude first, experience second; Hire for the business you aspire to be rather than the business you are now; If you have doubts about a candidate, it is better to leave the seat empty than hire the wrong person.
  14. For media companies, there is a midpoint between seat-of-the pants guesses and over-engineered plans that have too many metrics. Getting that balance right marks out the winners from the losers.

If you want to read the full issue, then please register here. Once you’ve completed your registration, you’ll be provided with a link to the digital edition.

You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.