Runner’s World Strategy Has Definitely Got Legs

RW1014_COVThe new podcasts from the publisher guarantee they’ll be glued to their audience’s ears. Talk about a sweet spot!

When you think of an audience that’s pretty hard to catch standing still, runners have got to be it. Yet the team at Runner’s World has found a way to connect with them like never before.

“For magazine brands, especially those that are enthusiast- or interest-driven in nature, the age-old, linear content distribution model has long been relegated to the past,” writes Greg Dool in Folio:. “Today, publishers must not only produce compelling content across more channels than ever before, but also foster a community of readers that promotes an interactive, two-way relationship.”

As they celebrate their 50th anniversary year, Dool notes that the publishers of Runner’s World are living and breathing this idea. In recognition of the highly mobile and active pace of their 650,000 print readers and millions of online fans, the brand has launched two new podcasts. One, “The Runner’s World Show,” will be a weekly broadcast featuring running news and high profile figures in the sport. The second, “Human Race,” will offer long-form content about runners and how the sport has changed their lives, Dool notes.

“I’ve wanted to start branded regular podcasts for awhile now, to be honest,” editor-in-chief David Willey told Folio:. “I’m very excited that we’re finally doing it.

“It’s not our first foray into the format, but these are definitely our first regular shows that will have a consistent cadence and lineup,” Willey adds.

“Obviously, with technology and devices like iPhones, everyone is turning to mobile,” said Runner’s World VP and publisher, Molly O’Keefe to Folio:. “That’s important to our audience. They are mobile. They’re out there. They are taking podcasts on runs with them. It’s really a great fit and a touchpoint for us to reach our audience.”

Obvious to them perhaps, but sublime in how well it fits into their target audience’s lifestyle. And they aren’t just planning to be glued to their ears, but are using live events like the recent Boston Marathon to truly engage in meaningful conversations as they happen.

“In between all the actual racing there are seminars, editors are giving talks, we’re doing on-stage interviews with running celebrities. We have keynote speakers. There’s a huge dinner with the editors,” Willey adds. “There’s all of this programming, which to me is content. One of the keys to the current media age that we’re all living in is that we all really need to have the broadest definition of content possible. We were very careful to create something that was unique, and really something that only Runner’s World could do.”

As Dool notes, it’s a great example of a publisher that is working to find their audience wherever they may be, adding that “publishers large and small must be willing to both experiment with new tactics and reinvest in those that are tried and true.”