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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Good Editors are Salespeople 

Old-time trade journalism

I enjoyed Paul Conley's memories of The Waterways Journal, linked above, and I agree with his position that editors/reporters shouldn't be selling advertising. But I've always felt that editors are the chief salespeople of their magazines. For some of what I mean by this, check out my recent observation on media branding.

Good b2b editors are passionate about their magazines. They care deeply about their audience, and scour their BPA audits to see if they're reaching the kind of people they're editing for. They get involved in circulation promotion and list acquisition. They sit on panels at conferences, and carry copies of their magazine to lay out on tables. They scour letters or emails to the editor. They care about the reputation of their magazine, and want it to be a shaper of market opinion, a thought leader. They push salespeople to sell more ads (which not only gives a bigger editorial well, but makes the magazine look successful--after all, who wouldn't want to advertise in this amazing creation of theirs?)

Good editors have a good part of their sense of professional self-worth wrapped up in their magazine.

It's one of the reasons I think good editors make the best publishers. They understand the whole product, and its value to both readers and advertisers. And they've created that product. It's their baby, and like all babies, it's the most beautiful and smartest baby of them all.

No good editor should be peddling space. But neither should any good editor think that advertising is the enemy, encamped on the other side of the Chinese Wall.

Well, off to peddle some space myself today. GRID Media is helping to give birth to a new editorial baby. Ain't she beautiful?

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