Sorry for the quick and dirty thoughts on this – I probably have less time than this topic deserves as am currently holed up and balancing working with home schooling and only just re-finding my feet.
Last week I had a call with Neil Tyler of New Electronics on (as well as a news pitch) the shift to home working and if the industry is slowing down. Naturally things turned to the last big recessions and what is likely to happen.
And 12 years ago, just as the economy was collapsing around our ears, I was working for Publitek. I guess (as they also specialise in electronics) they are now a rival, but one which I have strong ties to and relationships with and often work closely with.
Back then I wrote their majority of their newsletter posts (pre blog) on magazine industry moves and was saddened that month after month we heard nothing little but news on redundancies and closures. I can still remember (some time in 2009, I think albeit their blog doesn’t go that far back) things being so bad that it was noteworthy (indeed our leader focussed on it) there were no redundancies that month.
Sadly with the Covid 19 shutdowns, I suspect we’re heading that way again, with ad spend likely to dry out.
I now specialise in two things – content creation and trend spotting / analysis. And so here are my thoughts from 2008.
Last time round, it seemed like several magazines offered byline articles to any advertiser to shore up their income, and quality suffered. So readership declined, and so advertisers went elsewhere. So the magazines folded anyway.
As a sector we need to work together to get through this and the role between company and trade magazine should be a symbiotic one. So:
To those in the semiconductor industry.
Support the magazines through the hard times. Fund them if possible, and give them good quality content that meets their editorial standards – if nothing else, poor content will be ignored by the readers, even if it is published.
And to those in the magazine sector.
Quality will be critical. Find time to collaborate on material, don’t accept poor quality. Advise they seek out people you trust – be it an agency like Fourteen; like a giant such as Publitek, or any of the other brilliant, trusted people working in the content sector.