Chesapeake Family publisher Donna Jefferson recently met with publishing industry leaders at the conference of Specialized Information Publishers (SIPA). Editorial content was a big topic of discussion as the industry rapidly evolves.
Mark Ranalli, president of Helium, Inc an online site dedicated to providing access to high quality user-generated content said, “The audience out there now expects to participate,” he said, “but you need to maintain your reputation for quality.” He spoke about readers wanting and expecting fresh daily content. “Competition always drives quality. The amount of [content originators] will force all of us to rethink the value we bring to our readers.”
Knight Kiplinger certainly echoed the theme of bringing value to readers in a stirring breakfast discussion. In a conversation with SIPA’s Jim Sinkinson, Kiplinger said that the “secret of our success and survival—and survival [is not] chicken feed—is that our focus is on the reader. [Sinkinson shrewdly pointed out the importance of Kiplinger’s singular use of and respect for the “reader.”] New hires are told they work for one boss—the reader. Do that well and [success will] show up in our renewal [and reader] rates.
“The service we give the reader is practical and relevant,” Kiplinger continued. “When someone suggests something, the editor is supposed to say, ‘how is that item going to enable our readers to run his or her business [family] better?’”
Chesapeake Family celebrates its 20th anniversary in September. It is as important now as it was twenty years ago to provide readers with the highest quality local information available to help them raise their families. This is not a decision made lightly as much revenue is given up when advertiser written articles are by-passed in favor of professionally written, unbiased articles featuring the view points and opinions of at least three experts.
Readers trust the information they find in Chesapeake Family and in turn see the advertisers in a positive light for advertising and supporting a quality publication. In fact readers tell us that they see the ads as resources too.
As long as Chesapeake Family maintains its current ownership the reader will remain our boss which only strengthens the brand, relevance and reliability to the community as a whole.