Many magazines are barely keeping their heads above water. And with further print advertising declines, more paper price increases, a newsstand system that’s circling the drain and the prospect of huge postal increases, it’s likely to get uglier in Magazine Land.
You need to ask a fundamental question — and re-ask it every time the landscape shifts significantly: Would you be more profitable without the magazine than with it? A financial statement showing that the title is losing money doesn’t tell the full story.
Here are some tips for assessing the health of your magazine.
Is Your Magazine Carrying Extra Weight? Are all of your costs properly allocated among magazine, web, and other ventures? And would all of those “magazine” costs actually disappear just because the magazine disappears?
Will Your Brand Suffer Without A Print Magazine? Would your website suffer — in credibility, search, or in ad rates — if it’s no longer associated with a publication? How about your events and webinars?
Can It Be Fixed? If your magazine is on the ropes, you’ve probably already tried many of the usual tweaks — editorial redesign, revised advertising strategy, cheaper paper, fewer pages, trimming staff. When you face up to the fact that your magazine may cease publication, you become open to more radical changes that were previously off the table — changes that might actually save the magazine.