The last job I would want at the moment is to be a publisher. I’m amazed at how well they continue to run their businesses in a time when not only is there huge change in the delivery medium (the move from print to online), but also when they see a dramatic drop in revenues due to the recession. For this reason I’m trying not to write about the problems, but to focus on the successes that publishers continue to deliver.
Despite continually looking for good news, it’s clear that the recession is hitting UK publications hard. Electronics has combined its July/August issue, and appears to be pushing readers to switch to a digital version; Michelle Winney is leaving CIE; EDN Europe has switched Graham Prophet to a part-time contract; and I even heard a source at Electronics Weekly muttering that if the name wasn’t “weekly”, then the frequency of the magazine would have been reduced.
Clearly these are tough times for publishers in all industries, although controlled circulation titles do seem to take the biggest hit in a recession. In a recession the same principles of good marketing still apply: getting the right balance of different marketing activities will produce the best results. I’d urge marketers to take an integrated approach to campaign planning at all times, rather than simply seeing the advertising budget as the easiest thing to cut: it will make your campaigns more effective! When publications with outstanding editorial content begin to struggle, it should concern everyone in the industry, not just publishers.