Should Your Editorial Staff Write for Advertisers?

Digital publishing news for September 9, 2013

Ad Age has a new report on the relationship of editorial staff and advertisers. Michael Sebastian reports, “Many publishers embracing sponsored content defend the integrity of their ad/edit walls by creating in-house teams apart from their newsrooms to produce content on behalf of advertisers. But a handful of publishers — such as Mashable and Mental Floss — are allowing their editorial staffs to write stories and produce videos for advertisers, arguing that it affords a more authentic experience.”

Only a small group of publishers have decided to use editorial staff to write sponsored content. Sebastian writes,”Will Pearson, the president and other co-founder of Mental Floss, said setting up in-house studios separate from the editorial talent fails to benefit sites’ advertisers and readers, because editorial staffers most ably reflect the voice of the magazine.”

This is an interesting issue. What’s your opinion? Should the editorial team be kept separate or is out for them to work on branded content?

Conferences to the Rescue?

Could conferences save publishers? DigiDay has a new report on how publishers have been using conferences to turn big profits. Paula Froelich reports,”

It’s hard out there for traditional media. Take, for example, Lucky magazine. In late 2010, its longtime editor was recently replaced, and like the rest of the industry, its traditional source of revenue – ad pages – was waning.

But that didn’t deter Caroline Waxler, the title’s new director of digital content, who immediately set to work. Waxler not only beefed up the shopping publication’s online presence – hiring editors and bringing bloggers into the fold – but created a huge new revenue stream: The Lucky Fashion and Beauty Blogger conference.”

The FABB conference became a great source of revenue for Lucky and not to mention the conference itself as a new attractive offering for its advertisers.

It seems like everyone is throwing a conference these days. But it doesn’t mean they’re all good. Froelich adds, “The most successful include the likes of the relatively new, small and blue chip events All Things D, TED and the Founders Conference. All three are held up by people involved in conference industry as the way to do a perfect event: invite only exclusive, interesting and innovative people.”

Do you think conferences will rescue media companies?

Advertising Spending Is Up

Ad Age is reporting that ad spending is up 3.5% in the second quarter according to the figures released by Kantar Media today. Theses numbers were bolstered by the fact that advertisers didn’t have a summer Olympics to save for. On magazine ad spending Michael Sebastian writes, “Consumer magazines’ print advertising climbed 1.9%, based on their rate card prices, but the number of ad pages fell 2.1%, Kantar Media noted., Sunday magazines followed a similar pattern, with a 4.1% boost in print ad spending but a 6.3% drop in pages.”

Magazine Vending Machine

Gizmodo has a report on a new kiosk style machine that will print magazines and newspapers on demand.
Andrew Liszewski writes:

“Many people are claiming that these new Meganews Magazines autonomous newstands could save the print industry. That’s maybe a bit optimistic, but at the least they’ll help reduce the mountains of wasted paper from unsold magazines since the over-sized vending machine only prints publications when they’re ordered, in just two minutes.”

“The kiosk has access to a remote server where publishers upload the latest editions of their periodicals, and using a touchscreen interface customers can browse more than 200 different magazines, newspapers, or journals. When they come across an issue they want to buy, a simple credit card transaction results in a high-quality, freshly printed copy courtesy of a high-speed Ricoh printer on the inside. And the first machine has officially been installed in Stockholm, Sweden.”

The kiosk takes up less room than a traditional magazine shop so they have ability to be placed in a variety of locations. Do you think this technology will take off?


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