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Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower…

Simon Leslie

To be innovative, we can't merely look and mimic what others have done before. The whole idea of blazing a new path is that there was no path there before. Steve Jobs really hit the nail on the head when he said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower…”.  

When one of the biggest awards night in the magazine industry calendar is loudly caveated by just how depressing and difficult the media industry is right now, it feels like the already battered brows are taking another beating. How disappointing on what is meant to be a night of celebration.

For one, my table was upbeat, and it was for good reason. Not only for the optimism of four nominations to celebrate, but we have just closed our best ever month, our biggest issues and record revenue performances across our global titles in our 24 year history.

In my opinion, the industry needs to stop crying into its champagne glasses and start celebrating the fabulous medium of magazines, the opportunities they pose and find new and innovative ways to get to the huge audience and bustling markets.

With the recent recessions, Ink quite simply decided not to participate. The doom and gloom that the head of the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) talked about at this week’s awards, are not affecting us. We have nimbly created new business models, moulded our staffing to levels that still brings us awards and are properly scaled to market. We have wholeheartedly invested and walked towards the areas where the real audience is still engaged. In 2017 alone we have placed our magazines right in front of 80 million new consumers.

How come?

We don’t buy failure. We believe wholeheartedly in the excellence of magazines. And, most of all,  we believe they play such an important role in people’s everyday lives. So, to the big media companies out there, you all need to stop allowing the debate to be so negative. We all need to join together, in strength, to talk to our strengths.

Untargeted and unaccountable digital advertising may well be a statistician/mathematicians hot dream – but the reality is that many key big brands are turning their backs on this and returning to print. We need to be there to scoop them up.

The current narrative in-the-media-about-the-media too is transfixed on failures, companies going to the wall and people losing their jobs. It’s crazy, every month we have something to celebrate, and we are told by the journalists at the dying dailies, that’s not interesting? So, I challenge you to try place a positive piece – and you will no doubt find yourself swimming against those powerful turgid tides. Wave after wave.

We have a mantra here at Ink, “there is always new money for a good idea,” and we believe print remains that exact good idea: today, tomorrow and in the future.

So, my call is simple: Let's be brave. Let’s be positive and let's start innovating. And I say this, on a day where we have just announced a new deal to bring cryptocurrency based advertising to the mass market. See, a simple new idea that is already bearing fruit.

So BSME, please lead that positive fight for the industry that we all know and love.

 

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