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Story Telling

One of things I've learned in the publishing industry is that the things that business people ask are not necessarily their top criteria for making a decision.

They ask about the boring (yet necessary) stuff that we've trained them to ask about. However, what I've observed while launching 5 magazine titles in less than 3 years is this:
If you don't paint a good enough picture for them, they really won't get excited by the facts (it is the boring stuff, after all). And if you don't excite them the first time, then it will be quite some time before you get another kick at the can.

The greenfield approach that we developed to launch new magazines was to show advertisers, as closely as possible, what a new magazine would be like. To show them the stories we would tell.
  • Cover Prototypes are OK.
  • Example stories and layouts are better.
  • A sample of the actual magazine is best!
This really impacts the plan for a greenfield launch. Of course, you allocate your graphic resources differently, but it also means that you can go to the market sooner, get input that may change your plan, and forge relationships based on sincere dialog.