While “transformation” is one of those overused B-school terms, there’s perhaps no better term that sums up publishing’s journey in 2015.
Fortunately for publishers, this transformation has been substantial and not just mission statement hot air.
Publishers have dramatically altered their revenue models and value proposition, embracing data services, harnessing the experiential value of events, and earning revenue by selling targeted audience across platforms. As the work of publishing has changed, job functions and previously siloed departments (audience development, sales, editorial, digital) have become highly integrated. And when it comes to technology adoption, most publishing companies have progressed beyond adding a shiny new tech toy to their publishing arsenal and expecting it to drive change. Today, smart publishers recognise that technology changes need to go hand-in-hand with strategic, organisational, and operational changes.
Throughout our reporting we heard from executives at Penton, F+W, Rodale, Hanley Wood, Breaking Media, Reader’s Digest, and Inc. about the importance of nurturing and driving substantial change. The most successful publishing leaders have found ways to earn employee buy-in, develop new talent, and restructure their organisations to make room for experimentation and unearth new ideas for growing revenue.
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