The word, “brand,” is often associated with a product. But a brand can be anything including a print publication. While the doomsayers say print is dead, you and I know that it is not. Print on paper has been around since Gutenberg invented the printing press and it’s not going to disappear.
Radio didn’t disappear when television arrived, nor was television replaced by the internet. These are forms of communication and as publishers you are in the business of communicating. How you deliver content to your readers and viewers can come in many forms of media including, print, online, video, audio and digital. And that is the exciting part. Today, you have numerous options at your disposal and print will continue to be one of them.
The day of multimedia publishing has arrived and it’s time to recognize the brand that you have created and nurtured in print for many years. It’s also a time for publishers to appreciate the built-in audience you already have. While you need to continue to market and promote your brand, you aren’t starting from scratch. You already have a loyal consumer base.
Recently, I watched a video of the opening address given by William “Billy” Morris, CEO of Morris Communications, Inc. at the ACT 4 Experience Conference started by Mr. Magazine, Samir Husni. The focus of the conference was the power of print integrated in a digital age. Morris talked about how publishers need to build on their print platform and he used his travel division as an example of print and digital integration. He emphasized the importance of delivering content to customers that is both timely and accurate. Having been in the publishing industry for many years, Morris was enthusiastic about the advent of digital publishing that allows publishers to interact with their readers more frequently via every communication media available. With so many distractions for a reader’s attention, frequent contact via social media, video, print, websites, mobile apps, etc. keeps readers focused on your brand.
I’ve read that in today’s digital world, the consumer is in the driver’s seat. Marketing your journalistic brand requires a strategy that starts with knowing your audience and developing content that is vital to them as well as expected from your brand. Publishers are the communicators in the equine world. It is your responsibility to provide the horse community with well-written journalism and accurate facts that can be delivered quickly when necessary or with inspiration and beauty for posterity. For many of us who are veterans in equine publishing, the significance and historical value of the print publication will remain dear to our hearts forever. But the different ways we can communicate our stories and knowledge both visually and digitally is exciting and opens endless doors to creativity that can be spread to new and old audiences of horse lovers.
So go forward and build on your print publication brand by creating multi-dimensional media that targets your niche and develops content that engages and entertains your audience.
While this post focuses on print publishers, the message is for all who are involved in communicating within the horse industry. Let us all set the standards in good journalism, continue to build awareness of the horse world, and explore ways in which we can live long and prosper in the digital age.
And remember to write for the brand.