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Friday, June 03, 2005

File Under: Ouch 

Blogger Sue Pelletier points to every magazine publisher's worst nightmare: finding that your magazine name is already in use, by someone in your field. I have some extensive thoughts on magazine names, which will have to wait for the next installment of my Observations on Media Brands, coming soon to this blog channel.

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Making Acquisitions Work 

I've had the mixed pleasure of making a few acquisitions in my time. Some worked, some didn't. The ones that didn't work, didn't work very well.

This article by Kenneth W. Freeman , from the continually excellent Strategy+Business, lays out three strategic principles of making an acquisition:

Don’t do the deal for the deal’s sake.
Never make more deals than your company can fully digest or integrate at one time.
And be certain that you can create shareholder value from the acquisition within the first year.


and four operating principles after the acquisition:

Serve all customers without disruption.
Treat every employee with fairness, dignity, and respect.
Move with deliberate speed.
Learn from each other.


Key grab: Remember, synergies are realized only once, whereas satisfied customers and employees are a recurring long-term source of value.

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B2B M&A Primer 

What is Going On in the B-to-B M&A Market?

Nice b2b M&A primer from 101communications' Jeffrey Klein, in this month's Folio: magazine. Slightly outdated, in the sense that Hanley-Wood sold between the piece's writing and its printing (something that should at least be updated on the website, Folio:-folks! NOTE: Since updated. Thanks, Folio:!), but Klein correctly guesses at its higher multiple.

Klein's take on the hot b2b M&A market: "...media companies are very good businesses: They generate a lot of cash, they benefit from scale economies, it is often easier to buy something than to build it, and finally, being a publisher is kind of fun."

His watercooler analysis of cashflow and the value investors derive from it is right on.

One observation, though: it's this drug of cashflow which is also responsible for the inability of many media companies to invest in and adapt to the impact of competition. Investor ROI expectations, far more than the 'threat' of new technology, is what will kill many newspapers. Those cows will be milked dry before they have a chance to change their business models in a meaningful way. And their investors will have moved on to greener pastures.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Now Here's a Great Blog! 

Depression Part One: Admitting You Might Have a Problem

A couple of months ago, I came across a blog called "Real Live Preacher," written by Gordon Atkinson, the pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in San Antonio.

I was taken by the posts--honest, wrenching, sometimes filled with swear words...you know, human. Not like my internal vision of a preacher, especially not a Baptist preacher.

The post above may be one of the most naked self-analyses I've ever seen. All from a real live preacher. I wish him luck on his journey.

Grab:

I know there are a lot of people reading this blog, but for my own sanity, I think of you as roughly 50 people. I think of “you” as “someone” I can talk to safely.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Nice Turn of Phrase 

Blogging is her "tuning fork"

A shout out to Rex Hammock for another in a series of wonderful turns of phrase. In a brief post on blogger Lisa Haneberg's characterization of her blog as a personal tuning fork, Rex notes:

Unfortunately, I know some folks who apparently view their weblog as a pitch fork.

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Pulling Hair over Pulling Ads 

DEBATING THE 'AD-PULL' POLICY CONTROVERSY

Interesting reader feedback from Advertising Age on its editorial condemning BP's 'pull-ad' policy.

Grabs: Adverse editorial content only serves to dilute the message the advertiser has paid to run. Consequently, advertisers increasingly are choosing digital formats where they can control distribution, message and tracking -- count yourselves fortunate that they haven't pulled their ads from print entirely.

and

I find it ironic that you talk about editorial integrity when it comes to a negative story, but don't mention how publications use positive stories to sell ads. I have been approached many times with the idea that a “good, positive” story is going to run, and it would be in my client’s best interest to buy a nice big ad to go with that.

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Editors as Experts 

B-to-B Meets the Press

American Business Media's B-to-B Meets the Press conference is scheduled for August 3 in New York. Focus: "How can b-to-b editors and executives get called upon as industry experts by the print and broadcast media?"

I blogged the output of the last conference here, and fully believe that promoting your editors as industry experts is part of building a true b2b media brand.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Trade Shows and the Last Day Problem 

Spent the last few weeks at a couple of trade shows, researching markets, launching a magazine and a show daily, and generally keeping busy.

Many trade shows have to deal with the problem of the "last day." The problem: how do you keep the exhibit floor from becoming a ghost town in the final hours as people hit the airport to get home?

Has anyone had success with putting the key conference programming last? My thought: Two days of exhibit floor, with a keynote address and some limited, though important conference content on the first and second days (as well as a major networking party after the second trade show floor day), but with the core conference programming and a stellar closing address for half of a third day.

Your thoughts?

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