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Thursday, March 03, 2005

More Magazine Thoughts--B2B Edition 

Rex Hammock's MediaLife interview, plus my lack of consistent posting in the past few days, has evidently unleashed a torrent of words. Must...get...back...to...work.

But before that, I want to continue a thought on some of Rex's quotes, grabbed in my last post.

If you're a b2b publishing executive, how many of your magazines or newsletters have you read recently?

And if you can't find the time, or find your publications to be a little boring, or arcane, what must your audience think? One of my basic rules of publishing has always been, if I think my publication is boring, then I'd guess my readers do, as well. The goal is to create something that I'd want to read--even if it's not my field or primary area of interest.

Most salespeople I've worked with have either never read their magazines, or do so inconsistently. And by reading, I don't mean checking to see that Advertiser A got the promised position opposite editorial content B. I used to require salespeople to read their magazine, and be prepared to discuss it in staff meetings. [I believe David Carey, publisher of The New Yorker, requires something similar.] This was considered busy-work, and didn't earn me a lot of friends. Now, I have the pleasure of working only with the sales talent I choose to, and I choose to work with sales executives who intimately know and understand what they're selling.

So, some advice for b2b executives and salespeople: Read your stuff. Attend your conferences and trade shows as an attendee, not as a grip-and-grin executive just passing through. Spend time on your website, and make sure you get the RSS feeds from your products. It could help.

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