A lot has happened in The Netherlands over the past couple of weeks. Several magazines announced they were going to shut down. And it wasn’t just the newbies that didn’t survive this very competitive market. Some of the magazines that shut down had been around for decades and played an important part in the lives of the adults that now read the news of their demise. Hitkrant, you will be missed!
What went wrong? What can we learn from this? In a radio interview with Marketing Report, I explained what communications professionals can learn from the downfall of magazines.
The key learning is that survival is all about integrated communications: message over platform and brand over outlet.
The magazines that recently shut down had failed to jump on the internet bandwagon about ten years back. They were hesitant to take their brand online out of fear of losing readership. And when online really started to matter, it was too late.
In the end, the question of survival wasn’t about being a print magazine or not. It was about their brand, the stories they told, and the audience that wanted to read them. When their audience moved on to different platforms, the magazines didn’t make the move with them.
This is exactly the lesson we should always keep top-of-mind in PR and communications. We can’t rely on an earned-only strategy anymore. Companies have to build their brand on all different platforms – posting stories where their audience is. And they need to approach each channel with tailored news.
Combining paid, earned, shared, and owned channels has become more important than ever. An integrated strategy that combines multiple channels with rock-solid messaging is the only recipe for success. Companies that don’t embrace this truth will inevitably fail – just like Dutch print magazines.
Why not listen to the interview!