You too can be a magazine publisher

Corporate magazines in B2B markets have fallen out of favour over recent years. They’re subject to the same financial pressures which have decimated the trade publishing sector – it’s just become increasingly difficult to justify sending out promotional material by post. Many companies have tried publishing ‘online magazines’, but disappointingly few people seem to want to read a magazine on screen.

This needn’t be the end of corporate publishing though. We just need to think in a different way. Instead of trying to replicate online what worked in print, let’s think about what the online equivalent is, and whether it might fulfil a similar role.

And what is the online equivalent of a printed magazine that works? It’s the ‘blog’.

Now, many companies have set up blogs over the years, perhaps including yours. But few have had the care lavished on them which a corporate magazine would have had in the past. This is odd, because the reach can be far greater, and certainly goes on for much longer.

For a company blog to be a true ‘publication’ like a corporate magazine, it needs to have content which is frequent, interesting and wide-ranging. That’s not hard to do, however. I know one company which said it couldn’t afford the cost of putting out a professionally written article on its blog every few weeks, yet in the past it had produced a corporate magazine every quarter with at least half a dozen good articles in each issue. Seems like the same thing to me.

Commissioning a tame journalist to produce an article every week, or fortnight, shouldn’t be difficult, even for small to medium sized companies. It needn’t be an in-depth technical white paper, just a roundup of news from around the industry. Add to that a small telesales operation offering your new blog by email, free, to prospects, and the whole thing could be run for £10,000 to £20,000 a year, which is less than many companies spent on corporate printed magazines in the past, and – I would suggest – a better bet for the future.