You should see the pile of industry magazines that are piling up in one of our back rooms! We get every issue of every single magazine every month. There’s probably ten trees worth of paper stacked up in there. And I can tell you, what a waste of paper it is!
Not a waste as in general waste, a waste as in the reason for which that paper has been used was a waste. Blank canvasses that could have been used to write something engaging, something which could have really made someone sit down somewhere other than the loo and really enjoy it. However, if you were to pick up all issues over the course of three months, I could guarantee you they would all run the same story over that quarter!
What a low standard our trade magazines have set themselves. Resigned to publishing stories about who’s bought a new cutting machine, who’s shaved a head or grown a tash for charity! When I joined the industry 6 years ago, magazines had balls! They talked about who went under, what the latest rumours were, who’s coming, who’s going. They weren’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Now, it’s repeat after repeat of the same old stuff that made us put the magazines down in the first place!
I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it, our trade prints are dying. People are getting the news on our industry in the online domain. Like this one, like Aluminium Trade Supply, like the GGF website and so on. It quicker, relevant, non-repetative and more frank and honest, not dictated by the biggest manufacturers and their spending budgets. Yes I have my posts for my sponsors on here, but I more than balance that out with my own writing and opinions.
Magazines really need to step it up a gear before they get forgotten. They all need a good online magazine which are updated on a very regular basis if they are going to continue in this industry. No matter what background you’re from, the news related to your industry is now found best online. News in the magazines is reported 4 weeks too late. Who wants to read 4 pages about something which has happened in the Green Deal when we have all read it a month earlier on here or on another site?
Then there’s the advertising. If you advertise online is is quite simple to record the number of clicks your ad gets. Therefore, a tangible and accurate method of judging how successful the advert is. How do you accurately judge how successful your ads have been in a magazine? You could ask the person making a new lead with you where they got your name from, not always that reliable though. Why waste money on a dying medium and on a method where you can’t measure it’s success? Online is where its at!
Remember the Yellow Pages advert at Christmas where the young lad stood on the book to reach that girl under the mistletoe to kiss her? Can’t do that now! I’ve seen takeaway menus thicker than the current books (exaggerating a little bit but you know what I mean!). The same goes with the BT Phonebook and Thomson Local. All used to be a necessity in everyone’s home. Now, with the success of online search, companies are ditching that platform to move online, something which is now starting to happen to the trade publications. See the pattern, move with it, rather than against it.