Magazine Editors Are Really ‘Editorial Sales Managers’

“Your approach to each issue should be: This is not a publication, it is an EVENT. You are in charge of selling tickets to an editorial event. Think of your job as Editorial Sales Manager.

“Here we can take a page from the advertising playbook. Advertising changes constantly. Ad campaigns change. Ads within a campaign change regularly. Some ads are seen only a few times, and then replaced within a 30-day cycle.

“Tradition is one of the major roadblocks to editorial change, a powerful force not easily overcome. ‘If it’s October, we’ve got to do the show issue’—that kind of thinking is paralysis in the current environment.”

So writes John Brady, a partner at Brady & Paul Communications, in Folio:. His argument is that magazine editors need to be able to reinvent themselves.

And why not? So few are formally trained, as Brady himself points out. “Most editors of my acquaintance…studied accounting (with an English minor), took a summer job at a fulfillment house, did some copyediting on the side, became an assistant editor when someone quit on short notice and now the title is: Editor-in-chief.” So editors, you’re already adaptable and savvy. It’s just that now that adaptability is even more important. You can’t fix the economic downturn with a bigger budget or more staff (though if you’ve got the money to burn, we say go ahead and hire because it can’t hurt).

“Sell” the magazine, Brady argues. (Maybe, just maybe..content really is still king.)