Future Directions in Publishing

Publishing conferenceLast week I attended Publishing Innovation conference at the London College of Communication. Publishing sector is going through a major transformation, which makes it very interesting industry to follow and learn from. Where there are challenges, there are always huge opportunities at the same time.

Publishing conference

The session I attended was focusing on the content development. The debate was focusing on new ways of producing, organising and delivering content. Rob Boynes was the first speaker. He is a consultant designer and Art Director, and was talking from brand management perspective. His company F&W London creates digital experiences for brands.

The second speaker Holly Fraser is currently editor of photographer Rankin’s newest publication Hungermagazine and its online counterpart Hunger TV. Holly was discussing creating synergy between print, online and social media platforms.

The last speaker was Rob Orchard Prior to starting the Slow Journalism Company and launching Delayed Gratification magazine, which is a long format specialist magazine.

The main conclusion of the debate was that the online and traditional print formats are blending, combining the best practises from both worlds. Magazines concentrate carefully into curated content, in full control of guiding the reader through stories.

The digital world is very much about building relationships. The user is free to do their own editing and spreading the message. By combining different formats (print, digital, multimedia) and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram publishers can create a community of loyal followers. It is not about technology, instead it is about building relationships with people.

According to Holly Fraser for Hunger magazine’s creator Rankin another aspect is also important – nurturing new talent. Hunger magazine write stories of emerging artists and follow their career. Their USP (unique selling proposition) is strong relationships with musicians. So the focus is on slow relationship building. 

Delayed Gratification is a long format research based magazine. For them it is not about breaking a story, which is today almost impossible for any magazine because of Twitter. Instead they focus on taking time and looking back into recent events. It is about slow journalism. Their challenge is relevancy for readers, since the magazine aims to be completely financed by subscribers with no advertising.

All in all there are many different kind of opportunities for the publishing industry. The right combination of formats can bring success.

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