2010 Denver PR Predictions – Daniel Brogan

By Daniel Brogan
Editor & Publisher
5280 Magazine

Let’s be honest: New Year’s predictions tend toward wishful thinking. So while I’m as tempted as the next guy to forecast an improved economy and rejuvenated marketing budgets (or at least come up with something funny), I’ll instead go with something I can say with far more certainty: For better or worse, 2010 will be the year that magazines seal their fate.

The year ahead is likely to see a variety of shiny new gadgets, all promising to provide new publishing platforms that are well suited to what magazines do best. The question is what we’ll do with them.

If we follow the example set in the last decade by newspapers, blindly following every trend that came down the digital pike (Free content! Podcasts! Blogs! Citizen journalism! Facebook! Twitter!) without giving any real thought to sustainable business models, we will surely slide into irrelevance, just as they have.

On the other hand, if we give careful attention to re-inventing ourselves in ways that truly serve readers and advertisers alike – you may have already seen this example, but a far more thoughtful exploration is here – we stand a real chance of thriving in this new decade.

2 thoughts on “2010 Denver PR Predictions – Daniel Brogan

  1. So Dan, are you ready to stop following the newspaper example of free online content? If anyone has the capability (and guts) to do so, it would be publications such as 5280 that have the brand strength and lack of competition to make it worth their while. Set the example, show how it will work and others will follow. You don’t need to wait for a new digital reading platform…

  2. Not necessarily.

    My point wasn’t that any of those things are necessarily bad — but that they have to be part of a sustainable business model. In our case, we make a significant part of each issue of 5280 available online, but we continue to see our paid subscriber base grow (including a significant number of orders each month that come from the website).

    My sense is that people see our stuff online and still realize that it’s worth paying to get a more complete experience with the print magazine. Clearly, most visitors to newspaper websites didn’t feel the same way.

    On the other hand, if tablets allow us to really re-create (or even improve upon) the print experience, then I think we’ll have something worth paying for.

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