From journal to magazine – from offline to nonline
The magazine is no longer a news medium. The magazine must be in opposition to fast-paced news media, and dig deeper by giving readers debate-generating and investigative journalism.
Is your organisation also considering what the future holds for your trade journal or magazine? In this article, Kailow gives you our take on the magazine.
The new reality of the members’ journal
In the past, the members’ journal was the central medium for the organisation’s news communications. It was typically published 10 times per year, and was a mix of editorial articles, news and other fixed elements. This is far from the reality today.
Communication is now spread over a range of different platforms, and members’ journal have lost their former purpose as news media. Now, the new reality requires a new approach to working with the members’ journal, so we get the best out of the medium and create coherence in the communication.
At Kailow we believe that the answer is called nonline communications, which utilise the best of all platforms.
From journal to magazine – with lots of added value
Your magazine must add value for the recipient. Where previously, journals were published perhaps 10 times a year, that number must be cut to four high-end magazine publications annually.
Once again, editors may develop long-term strategies for the physical magazine
The magazine must be a unique aesthetic experience, where there is time and space for the editors to deliver ambitious articles, immersion and in-depth journalism.
The members’ journal must be a break that supports the general backlash to digitisation, which also shows up in trends like 50s fashion, record players and unplugged summer vacations.
Unlike our scepticism and impatience with the digital media, the physical magazine is credible and creates identification, while also keeping the organisation top-of-mind among members.
If an organisation does not have physical contact with its members, declining knowledge and support will be the result.
The smartphone digitises the physical magazine
Previously, a primary argument for the digital magazine was that it effectively created coherence with the other digital platforms. That argument has now effectively been kicked aside.
Going forward, the synergy between analogue and digital communication exists in your smartphone, which digitises the physical magazine. Via your smartphone, you can enable static content, “like” articles on Facebook, sign up for an online newsletter, play videos in physical ads, download apps and purchase directly from web shops – all with the magazine as a starting point.
Thus, we already seem to be seeing the beginning of the end for the digital magazine, before it really got started. And after three years with tablets and opportunities for good digital magazines, ask yourself how many digital magazines you read? Usually, the answer is zero.
The magazine in a nonline context
The new technological possibilities mean that the magazine has finally found its future format – and the editorial offices can thus get back to developing long-term strategies for the physical magazine. This is an approach that combines on- and offline communications, so-called nonline communication.
Instead of having a strategy for Facebook, a strategy for the magazine, a strategy for the use of online TV and another strategy for the digital communication, in nonline communication you work with just a single strategy.
It is the same content with the same sender across all platforms – and the content moves freely between the individual channels. This creates clear and consistent communication with the audience across all points of contact, and a recognisable universe around the entire organisation’s communication.
The future strategy for the magazine
This means that, effectively, we create a link between all your communications platforms – always with the overall universe as the sender.
Very simply put, the strategy may consist of elements such as a website for general information, an online newsletter that communicates current news, social media for interaction, competitions and other call to action-activities, a TV/video channel with moving images that support text communications and last but not least, a high-end quality magazine that gives readers ambitious articles, immersion and in-depth journalism.
Nonline strategy creates synergy between platforms and combines the magazine’s credibility and aesthetics with digital media opportunities and dynamics. This results in stronger messages and offers readers more opportunities for knowledge and interaction.
How do I get started?
The first step is to look at your current members’ journal: How often is it published, and is it part of an overall strategy for all your communication?
Once we have clarified your current situation, together we can create tomorrow’s members’ journal, so we ensure the strongest communication on all platforms – printed as well as digital.
What is nonline communication
Nonline communication does not distinguish between offline, online, or above and below the line. Where previously, the same idea was executed on the premises of the various platforms, with nonline the same content moves freely between all the different channels; from passive media such as TV to the highly interactive social media. Nonline communication breaks down the boundaries between the analogue and the digital and sends the magazine’s readers effortlessly on from one platform to another.