I was interested to hear about Elettronica 360, a custom publication created by Inware Edizioni for Italian distributor Comprel. In other industries custom publishing is big business, so it’s great to see a publisher see in-house magazine as an opportunity. I was lucky enough to be able to interview Antonio Cirella from Inware Edizioni about the project.

Is this the first time your company has published an in-house magazine?
Yes, we had few experiences in the past but Elettronica 360 is the first project of this type with a regular publication plan (3/4 issues per year).

Why did Comprel decide to use a publishing company, rather than create the magazine within their marketing department?
This is a key point, happy to answer! Small/medium sized distributors that mainly work in local markets don’t have internal resources to allocate for a major project like a magazine. Nevertheless, they do all provide a marketing and communication budget. The key is to allocate part of the marketing budget to create an great magazine in partnership with an experienced publishing house that has all the know how and resources available to support the project.

Elettronica360Why is a distributor launching an in-house magazine at a time when commercially publications are struggling and advertising prices are low?
This is another key factor. An house organ can give up-to-date information for customers, suppliers and (last but not least) internal communication. The purpose – of course – is not to compete with any of the commercial magazines, but just to reach the readers, suppliers and other related targets, with fresh information (technical and commercial) about the status of the company. All of this using part of the communication budget that normally distributors allocate to catalogue printing – and printed catalogues get obsolete very soon.

Who manages the advertising/sponsorship for “Elettronica 360”?
AThis is done by Comprel, which is free do set any co-marketing with franchisees and get funding from this action.

Don’t you think that in-house magazines such as “Elettronica 360” could compete with, and potentially take income from commercially published titles?
Not at all! I firmly believe that readership of commercial titles won’t be affected by house organs and also advertisers will look at them differently from commercial magazines. This is not an original idea, house organs have always been published (Rutronik, EBV and others) but now they can be published by smaller or local distributors! Elettronica 360 creates a new possibility for those who always have dreamed to have their own house organ but never managed due to time and resources shortage.

What are the benefits to readers of in-house titles such as “Elettronica 360”, which only cover a small proportion of the electronics industry – ie the products sold by Comprel?
They’ll get fresh information about Comprel, in a form that is similar to a magazine with extended commercial and technical information. As said, I see no overlap in readership between a commercial magazine and a house organ, Another point is that Comprel sales people use Elettronica 360 during discussions with customers as a sales tool. The customers/readers simply like it! And get more information about Comprel offering too!

Obviously you don’t have the same editorial freedoms when writing “Elettronica 360”. Do you enjoy having to always meet the demands of Comprel?
I like this question because it gives me the possibility to better clarify our role. We differ from other publishing companies mostly by the fact that we use an in-house editorial team to produce the articles published in our magazines. We have an network of around 60 freelance editors involved with our magazine editorial production. They are all engineers with a deep knowledge of several different topics and all capable of writing good articles (this is not always the case…). We can meet almost any requirement or commitment from vendors and our editorial plan is indeed very wide. These attitudes perfectly meet the requirements of an house organ editorial production, so we are not concerned about the choices of the client.

Do you plan to repeat Elettronica 360 experience in the future?
Yes. Our next goal is to produce an house organ in English language, for international markets. We are at the moment evaluating a couple of proposals.