I’d like to weigh in on Chris Moerdyk’s piece about the collapse of Ndalo Media; his comments around the wholesale demise of magazines and his dire warning to magazine journalists.
- Ndalo had been in trouble for some years and it was a massive print bill that finally saw them on their way.
- There are very few printers who can meet publisher quality standards. They have invested heavily in capital equipment to do so and call the shots.
- Media24 and CTP/Caxton dominate and also publish and distribute their own titles.
- Printers have acted as bankers to publishers. No bank would have allowed Ndalo to rack up a debt of that magnitude.
- Print Research Council research suggests readers of print are most commonly found at the top spectrum of SEMs. Only a small sample of the population with high disposable incomes indulge in buying magazines.
- The big glossies are refining business models, creating communities with similar interests, introducing activations and upping social media and digital activity. Publishers must promote their successes with increased vigour, particularly to advertisers and agencies.
- A dying breed of independently owned publishers with passion and fortitude prevail. They are experienced, sharp business people.
- The demise of the PICA Awards for magazine excellence lies firmly at the feet of the big publishers.
- Magazines aimed at niche markets are doing well.
- It’s all about content. A print product with great editors and writers on board becomes the catalyst for expanding content across multiple delivery platforms, enticing consumers to engage and adding benefit to advertisers.
- A good magazine offers an intimate, informative and inspiring read.
There are great examples of magazines across the globe and locally offering the best writers an opportunity to shine. Do not let standards drop.
Sandra Gordon is the publisher of The Media Online and The Media, Wag the Dog publications. She is deeply schooled in marketing, with experience in media, advertising, branding, communication, public relations and publishing (print and online). Currently CEO of the Iconic Group, a savvy collection of entrepreneurial companies offering services across the marketing and communication spectrum.
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