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Innovation in the Publishing Industry

Wed, Apr 25, 2018

I recently attended the New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) Convention in Boston, and I’ve always found this event to be a valuable resource to gain knowledge about the latest issues and trends in the publishing industry, since I counsel and provide many publishers with a variety of print communications services. 

The theme of the convention was Innovation, and Linda Conway, NENPA’s Executive Director summed it up well:

"With the whole media landscape changing so much, we want newspapers to think innovatively, and try to reinvent themselves." - Linda Conway, NENPA Tweet this! 

Jason Feufer, Editor In Chief of Entrepreneur magazine, the key note speaker stated:

“We need to live in a state of constant learning, of constant challenging. If you are a finished product, you are just on a shelf, and at some point, you are thrown into the garbage.” - Jason Feufer, Entrepreneur magazine Tweet this!

Paul Tangusso UW Sr. Account Executive

These were words to my ears, as I take pride in providing innovative ideas and thinking to my clients as a Senior Account Executive for Universal Wilde, creating print communications strategies for publishers such as The Boston Globe, North of Boston Media Group, and Free Press Media, to help them evolve their marketing efforts to more effectively engage with their customers. 

For instance, did you know that magazines are making a comeback? This is proven through the work I have done with these publishers and others, to produce a variety of high-quality, glossy, full-color magazines and covers which attract higher readership than traditional newspapers.

Jim Falzone, General Manager, North of Boston Media Group, presented to a standing-room only NENPA audience, in which he provided a tutorial on how to launch a new niche publication titled Keys to Creating (and Improving) Niche Publications. What I found fascinating was Jim’s breakdown of the key areas to cover to make this a reality. It was interesting to see everyone in the room hanging onto his every word regarding these topics, and taking notes to capture every detail. They are summarized here.

Key areas to consider when launching a Niche Publication:

  • Choose your niche
  • Know your audience
  • Know your advertisers
  • Putting your publication together: content, printing
  • Distribution and logistics
  • Calculating profit: select a subscription model

He also shared that it can take 6-9 months to launch a niche publication from inception to in-market delivery, shorter if you are adding to an existing publication, estimated between 3-4 months.

During the portion about "Putting your Publication Together", Jim outlined criteria to choose the right printer:

It is important to find a printer that you can trust with your publication.   Price is important, but you need a print partner that will provide great quality, customer service, postal expertise, and options for additional revenue like blow-in cards, belly bands, news notes, pull out spreads, etc.” - Jim Falzone, North of Boston Media Group Tweet this!

He also mentioned that he is very pleased with the long-term partnership he has had with Universal Wilde. Building on what Jim shared with the NENPA audience, I wanted to share these additional points to help publishers choose the right printer, which is unique to the industry:

  • This industry requires high volume, so select a printer who has expansive capabilities
  • Web presses are required due to the high volume, but also produce a great variety of publications from larger publishers such as North of Boston Media Group (who manufactures 56 publications each year)
  • Inventory management is critical, to hold stock in house and automate inventory reorder, to allow for a timely and seamless operation
  • Strong customer service is needed since they are your day-to-day contact, and they should be knowledgeable and responsive based on the fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
  • Make sure you have a mailing services team who is expert in the publishing industry, particularly in the pre-press/set up area, in order to deliver a high quality product on time, consistently

The NENPA convention was well orchestrated, and well attended. I also enjoyed attending presentations on advertising, operations, and the media/press; basically the wide range of topics near and dear to the heart of the publishing industry, so that I can keep updated on the latest trends and innovations.

If you are in the publishing industry, contact Paul Tangusso to learn more about how he can help you evolve your print communications.  He can be reached at Paul.Tangusso@universalwilde.com or 781-251-2740.

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