Tuesday, May 1, 2007

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: ON MPA, Time Inc, Conde and Mentors

"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong."
Charles Wadsworth

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: ON MPA, Time Inc, Conde and Mentors


Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Where are Today's Mentors?
Today's mentors? You mean you want young people to learn from the upper- and mid-level executives who dismissed the Internet, desktop publishing, cross media, and ran bloated, bureaucratic self-protective organizations? Okay. I guess we need to cultivate more narrow-minded bonus-focused executives to discourage the young people below them so that, in frustration, those young people can they out on their own and start their own businesses. If that's what we want, then mentoring is a great idea. Everyone can learn a lot from viewing a bad example. Many successful businesses were created by inspired executives who could not make headway in the organizations they were in.

Seriously, mentoring comes from age diversity in organizations, not just a plan. In many job cutting schemes, middle-management is cut the most, which creates a discontinuity in organizational succession. When companies stop growing, as many big publishing companies have, there can be a serious age-imbalance that interrupts traditional passing of knowledge as one generation looked out for another. What this means is that managers start making old mistakes in new ways because there is no one there to stop them.

Industry growth can cover a multitude of sins; industry decline exposes them and creates new problems. The lack of mentoring is one of them.

There is another issue. Many young people are in a marketplace for which additional education is quite common. For example, one-third of all business students will have MBA's about 10 years after they graduate. Much of what was passed in the mentoring process is now passed in additional outside educational endeavors that were not available in the past.

Technology has also changed things, and standardized them. Desktop publishing has standardized trade practices that were sometimes unique to organizations that would have otherwise required a mentoring process to impart.
(Submitted by an Industry analyst and one of Bosacks favorite pundits)

Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Where are Today's Mentors?
Look at the "New York School of Printing" aka now "High School for Graphic Communications" a public high school quietly dying in the heart of the world's media a scream away from some of the worlds largest publishers. My recent visit there was a very sad event.
(Submitted by a Senior Print Sales Director)

Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Where are Today's Mentors?
Not so fast Bo. There is still mentorship going on. It's not like the old days, but here and there the teaching still goes on. You judge the world from your own experiences, and as fair as that may seem, most of your experiences were very uncommon. Who else got the chance to learn from Lowell, Vito and Irving?
(Submitted by a Senior Dir of Mfg)

Is this really that valid a test, though? Not only did In Touch not use a celeb, but it tried to cover a serious topic and did so at a traumatic time when most of the serious media was all over the situation, increasing by orders of magnitude its competition. I think it's smart to try something new, but to go with a choice that altered that many factors at once means that you'll never know what the test taught you.
(Submitted by a Writer)

RE: Magazine Series Raises Ethical QuestionsWell, this is about the fastest way to get the general public to stop watching web content from reputable information brands and instead tune into the knucklehead bloggers and video producers who contend that their own crap is as credible as ours. Without that distinction, I might as well find another line of work.
Thanks for nothing, Marie Claire.
(Submitted by a Senior Editor)

RE: Conde Nast's Portfolio Pits Old Media Against Web Models
One question about "top writers": how many readers even recognize the majority of those bylines? I don't have an answer, but it's something I've wondered about. Would a title be smarter to search out talent that doesn't get all the attention to present something new? And when it comes to business magazines, I've talked with editors I know in that area and have come away with the thought that most of them are really about investing and horse race reporting, not about understanding business. And what does Portfolio do? Hire Tom Wolfe to write about hedge funds. Gee, how about covering management, strategic planning, supply chain issues, companies moving away from convention wisdom, and all the topics that you generally only find in business trade magazines that seem to attract devoted readerships.
(Submitted by a Writer)

Re: Magazine Series Raises Ethical Questions
Bob: In advertising, as in war, Truth is often the first casualty.
(Submitted by a Publisher)

Re: News Flash: Anything This Graphic Should Never Have a Logo
We, in media, especially in the digital era where anyone and everyone can "publish", are nothing if not our brand.
(Submitted by a Online Database Manager)

Re: Time and Hearst focus on new media, not new titles
Time inc will be more digital when they shake up the organization from the top. Their current moves of downsizing staff and selling properties is just senior management chess. All those resources and they are not dominant on the web?
(Submitted by an Industry supplier)

RE: Magazine Ad Pages Grow 1% - New MPA Ad Campaign
I believe we're all very much excited about the MPA Marketing Coalition's initiative to grab the attention of advertisers in all the right places in the media. So, well done. They set out on a mission, pulled together key players from all teams and they have shown the industry just what can be done even on a highly limited association/member budget.

But what is missing?

Any true consumer database marketing and advertising expert will be the first to tell you that you start with the CONSUMER first and the advertisers will follow. I know I couldn't have been the only one who absolutely loved the Conde Nast agency's spin on the ads all over Manhattan and in print ads that had consumers hugging and kissing their magazines. Although those ads were intended to strongly reach the advertisers, it's the consumer driving the purchases, driving the advertising and driving the success of all sides of the publishing industry picture. It gives the the impression to the CONSUMER that THEY may be missing something and can't live without a title they love. That works for ALL who work in promoting the purchase of a magazine.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that these ads are perhaps the finest and most important work the MPA Coalition has done and we should be expanding it's use in all forms of media....in our own magazines, newspaper inserts, billboards, insert media---all forms that GET IT IN THE PUBLIC EYE as well as the key advertisers.
(Submitted by a CEO/Publisher)