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Magazines Reinvented: 12 Lessons from Hearst’s Troy Young, Part 2

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I recently shared six key insights for publishers in my last Forward Report, Magazines Reinvented: 12 Lessons from Hearst’s Troy Young, Part 1. Here in Part 2, I outline the second half of lessons …

I recently shared six key insights for publishers in my last Forward Report, Magazines Reinvented: 12 Lessons from Hearst’s Troy Young, Part 1. Here in Part 2, I outline the second half of lessons gleaned from our discussion.

Media companies who are redefining themselves for today’s social-mobile consumers will find Young’s advice both challenging and promising.

Previously President of San Francisco publishing startup Say Media, Young launched editorial, marketing and advertising strategies that resulted in more than $100 million in revenue in just two years. From advertising patents to award-winning digital platforms, Young boasts two decades of experience in developing digital media innovations.

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  • 1. Magazines Reinvented: 12 Lessons from Hearst’s Troy Young, Part 2 Malcolm Netburn Chairman and CEO of CDS Global WITH MALCOLM NETBURN
  • 2. FORWARD: with Malcolm Netburn © 2013 CDS Global.All rights reserved. July 2013 2 Magazines Reinvented: 12 Lessons from Hearst’s Troy Young, Part 2 “When distribution is earned, you think differently about content.” – Troy Young, President of Hearst Magazines Digital Media Overview In the spring of 2013, Hearst Magazines brought Troy Young on board as president of Digital Media – a newly created role for the company. Previously president of San Francisco publishing startup Say Media, Young launched editorial, marketing and advertising strategies that resulted in more than $100 million in revenue in just two years. From advertising patents to award-winning digital platforms, Young boasts two decades of experience in developing digital media innovations. In recent discussions, Young offered keen advice to publishers on how magazines must radically redefine themselves for today’s social-mobile consumers. Part 1 of this report, available on cds-global.com, outlined the first six of 12 key takeaways gleaned from Young. The second half of Young’s highlights, lessons 7-12, are provided here in Part 2. 7. Publishers Must Provide a Mix of Shareable Content that includes Easy-to-Digest Multimedia Pieces along with In-depth, Long-form Content. • A well-rounded variety of content types satisfies a broader spectrum of connected audiences and consumer needs. • All content types must be shareable and designed to motivate engagement from the get-go. • Quick, easy-to-digest content includes mobile videos, photos, infographics, survey polls, quizzes and short articles. • In-depth content includes long-form articles, reports, in-depth video interviews and coverage, e-books, guides and webinars. All content types must be shareable and designed to motivate engagement from the get-go.
  • 3. © 2013 CDS Global.All rights reserved. FORWARD: with Malcolm Netburn July 2013 3 8. Content Must Be Personal, Passionate and Present a Strong Point-of-View. • Opinionated, well-informed content drives the highest social engagement. • Take risks! Brands reluctant to form passionate opinions endanger their ability to generate avid engagement and loyalty. • Today’s connected audiences expect media to be human and transparent. • There is no correlation between objectivity and popularity or engagement. • Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s long-held success demonstrates how strong opinion often trumps objectivity in regard to generating popularity. 9. Incorporate Complementary Platforms and Solutions alongside the Main Content Management System (CMS) • An increasing variety of platforms integrate seamlessly with available CMS vendors. • Experiment with third-party solutions that pull content out of the publisher’s site to curate or aggregate content into outside channels and social communities. • Tech blog ReadWrite’s use of inline comments serves as a prime example of a tool integrating with the site’s main CMS. • Sophisticated platform integrations continue to emerge for eCommerce, video, photos, music, live chat, social engagement, curation, geolocation, gamification, wearables and more. 10. Publishers’ Offerings Must Have Scale and Consistency across Brands. • Publishers’ brands still largely operate within rigid silos with little to no collaboration or communication between brands. • Publishers must introduce centers of excellence responsible for implementing scalable, agile strategies across media properties. • Publisher-wide research analysts and data scientists providing actionable, predictive intelligence and ongoing measurement can be used to support a unified, scalable content strategy across brands.
  • 4. © 2013 CDS Global.All rights reserved. FORWARD: with Malcolm Netburn July 2013 4 11. Nimble Content Teams Drive Community Engagement. • Today, editorial teams must be equipped to interact with their audiences in near real time. • Small, nimble content teams are best-suited for fast, adaptive response to audience needs. • Empowered content creators who act as humans and/or with transparency generate maximum engagement and advocacy. • Teams across brands must eliminate unnecessary friction, lag time and communication roadblocks by implementing collaborative work tools and enterprise social networks, along with supporting processes and procedures. 12. The Role of a Media Company Has Changed. • Media companies today act as overseers and liaisons for communities that are co-created by brands and audiences. • Brands should experiment with audience-generated content. • Collaborative publishing blurs the line between audience and brand. • Brands who advocate for audiences as co-creators cultivate greater loyalty. • Monocle (monocle.com) demonstrates how today’s media companies push the collaborative boundaries of brands and community. Today, editorial teams must be equipped to interact with their audiences in near real time.

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