Print’s Presence and the Magazine Moment of Now

“Parenting is an experience and I wanted the magazine to reflect that emotion.”

Liz Vaccariello knows her audience well. The editor-in-chief of Meredith’s Parent Network, she has been at the helm of the recent rework to Parent magazine.

“Not only does the magazine feature a new look and navigation experience, but it also has a new strategy that incorporates celebrity personalities and more lifestyle-focused content for Millennial moms,” writes Caysey Welton in Folio, who interviewed Vaccariello on the makeover.

“When a new editor comes in they have a new vision of what they want the pages to do. I felt like there was nothing broken and we made very few changes to the team,” Vaccariello explains. “It was really about a subtle shift in the tone and voice. I wanted it to be more relatable and more mom-to-mom.

“I also wanted to have the pages work a little harder. I thought the old pages were lovely in a quiet way but I wanted it to be lovely in a fun way. Parenting is an experience and I wanted the magazine to reflect that emotion,” she continued.

It’s a recurring theme at Meredith these days, not just under their Parent brand. A look at the figures behind the Magnolia Journal success will tell you that Meredith has a good handle on this idea of the magazine as lifestyle enabler, connecting on a deep emotional level to the reader’s vision for their own life.

And a big part of doing that comes down to understanding your reader, and enhancing that emotional experience. For Vaccariello, this kind of connection rarely happens in digital media.

For Alie Oz, publisher of the 0-15 ArtBook Magazines, digital media presents more than a challenge; it offers an impenetrable barrier.

“If you’re looking for a way to get timely information, then you cannot beat digital,” Oz explains in an interview with Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni. “However, if you’re looking for quality and beauty, and certain human elements, such as touching the paper for that physical connection, print provides that. There is no human connection with a monitor; we’re on the outside of it.”

“With print, you’re much more connected to those pages,” Oz continues. “And there are different fundamentals for people. Some want to be in control, so they want to sit down in front of the monitor and click here or there. But many people are tired of making decisions all of the time. They want to just sit back and be entertained. With each page they flip, they want to see something surprising. They don’t want to know beforehand what they will be looking at. They just want to relax and be entertained.”

There’s a beautiful movement happening in the magazine industry, from both large scale publishers like Meredith and indie publishers with bold visions like Oz. That trend is a growing awareness of the true value of printed magazines.

“In the digital world you can immediately solve somebody’s problem or answer a question and that’s important. But for the magazine, and this is why advertisers have stuck with us, they realize you get a much different mindset from the consumer when she is engaging with that product. She’s leaning into it,” Vaccariello explained to Welton.

Looking to find your customers when they are relaxed, receptive and ready to engage? Get in front of them in print.