Some Common Sense from Mr. Magazine

Common sense – seems it’s sorely lacking in many quarters today. But in the publishing business, common sense is alive and well. 

A handful of common sense approaches ring especially true to Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni, who recently shared “Common Sense Lessons I Have Learned for Today’s Print Media” at the 2018 Magazines & Books at Retail conference, and again on his blog.

His first bit of advice is to play off of print’s ability to curate the endless stream of information, in ways that digital simply can’t. 

“Print publications’ biggest strengths include the abilities to sort through the avalanche of content for consumers, and present the research along with the answers—including insights about the next trends and developments of importance to them,” Husni writes. “All of which reinforces the trust that consumers have in established print brands.”

Indeed, digital-only publishing creates its own legacy gap, and that is helping push many digital-first brands into print publications. (I mean, c’mon, even Facebook is now printing a magazine.)

Curation alone isn’t enough, of course. Husni advises that publishers should use their magazine’s authority to articulate their brand leadership, and create true experiences for readers.

“Be opinion leaders. Use your magazine’s authority — through both social media and interactivity with print readers — to start conversations and lead public debate,” he advises. “Let the audience know they’re being heard, even if you don’t agree.”

And of course, continue to innovate. 

“We often see new formats in print magazines — in ads, covers and elsewhere — driven by new technology and our own imagination and creativity,” Husni notes. “We need to continue to challenge ourselves on this front.”

Common sense? Maybe not for everyone – but for publishers who understand the specific properties of print, the value of a strong brand voice, and the new opportunities for true innovation, the future looks great.

“Don’t forget that success hinges most of all on being able to answer the question, What’s in it for me? What’s in it for your readers, advertisers and retailers? It’s all about service, truth, goodwill and benefits,” Husni summed up.