I was lucky enough to meet an interesting presenter when I spoke at Media Hungary 2016. He introduced himself as “Mr. Magazine™.” Dr. Samir Husni, the Director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, having a collection of more than 30,000 magazines in different languages. He has published the annual “Samir Husni’s Guide to New Magazines” for 28 years and now chronicles all the new magazines on his Launch Monitor blog. He is the maestro of magazines.
His presentation was entertaining. He just knew that he wanted to do something related to print and magazine when he purchased his first magazine, a Superman comic book. He loved the feel and smell of print (I do too). That love led him to the School of Journalism and to accrue a vast collection. We ended up spending the first day of conference together.
I love how he categories magazines, he uses love relationships as categories.
- One-Night Stand
- Love Affair
The One-Night Stand Magazine
Magazines that are published based on a milestone, key event or a person. Life Magazine usually does a great job of publishing one-night stands. They have published special editions or tributes for “Princess Diana”, “John F. Kennedy”, “Ronald Reagan”, “Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee” and “WWII 60th Anniversary.” These types of magazines need to be timely to entice readers into a one-night stand.
The Love Affair Magazine
People will buy magazines for a short period of time based on key decisions in their lives. The best examples are wedding-planning, pregnancy preparation and travel. Brides-to-be will purchase bridal magazines when they start planning their wedding and shopping for a dress. Parents-to-be will purchase parenting and baby-related magazines to get ready for their first-borns. When the wedding is over, the baby is born, they are no longer interested in the magazine as if a love affair lost its fire and passion.
The Marriage Magazine
This is the type of magazine that becomes a ritual to the readers’ daily lives. My mother-in-law loves her New Yorker and my husband reads his monthly car plates magazine (He collects car plates and their organization has a member’s only magazine.) These types of magazines become part of their lives and they are loyal followers.
Samir often asks publishers what types of magazines they want to produce for their readers. Of course, publishers love to have the long-term love relationship with their subscribers, but they also have the options of creating a one-night stand or love affair magazine.
I was thinking about how this relates to content marketing when he shared this fun analogy. Ultimately, you want to create compelling and useful content so your readers see you as the go-to-source for specific topics. As a result, you use content to form a long-term relationship with your readers or customers. However, you can also have fun content that taps into some current events or milestones by creating one-night stand or love-affair content for your customers.
Conference web sites are an example of online content that’s intended as a one night stand (well, a few nights stand). SAP just completed their annual Sapphire conference and created a website and mobile app for everything from registering for the conference to creating agendas and watching keynote videos.
A love affair analog might be something related to relocating or travel planning. Many vacation destinations have content available to help prospective visitors, like VisitOrlando.com
My husband is a lifelong tennis player and fan and goes to the Men’s Professional Tennis Association’s website atpworldtour.com weekly to read news and follow results at the various tournaments that go on throughout the year. He is married to the sport! But he has one night stands with grand slam specific tournaments (like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open).
Samir has also tracked the number of new magazines published over the past 30 years. He noticed that of the more than 700 new magazines that were published annually in the 80’s, more than 20% of them were sex-related. In the past 10 years, more than 900 magazines were published on average annually (who said print is dead?). More than 50% of them were about food, wine, crafting and life style. Social media data gives you short-term trending information, but new magazine titles give you a glimpse into what a society is interested in over time. Analyzing new magazines may provide valuable data about demographic shifts and trends that will have implications to your content marketing. Check out some of the interesting new magazines in April.
He is indeed the Mr. Magazine™!