In an uncertain economy, it only makes sense to scale back your brand’s print footprint, right? Not if you’re The Land Report, which just launched their largest print issue ever.
“Even during a pandemic, people are investing in, buying and maintaining land,” writes Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni in his blog. “And The Land Report is the magazine that profiles passionate landowners, identifies investment opportunities, explains ways to improve and conserve land, provides legislation updates, and highlights outdoor gear and equipment.”
Husni interviewed Editor Eric O’Keefe and Publisher Eddie Lee Rider, co-founders of the brand, about how they are managing during the pandemic.
“For the most part, both the powers-that-be at The Land Report told me that business as usual has been the norm for them, except for the event space, which of course isn’t happening right now. But the hopes are that the events will be back up and going very soon and The Land Report can get back to 100 percent, because after all it is the magazine of the American Landowner,” Husni writes. He notes that their current issue, at 160 pages, is their largest yet.
“From last spring to this spring, we saw an increase in our ad revenue of a little over 75 percent, closer to 80 percent actually,” explains Rider. “It’s been remarkable. We have two full-time employees, everybody else connected with the business is a contract employee, freelancer or independent rep. Our business has not changed at all during this situation.”
Rider sees the print product as highly relevant to their audience, which skews “toward an older reader, our average reader the last time we did some surveys was 62-years-old. They like a print product.”
They’ve certainly faced challenges during the last few months, like all publishers. Yet he believes it’s their highly targeted distribution model that keeps their ad partners engaged no matter what.
“And at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about, getting our magazine into the right people’s hands,” O’Keefe explains.
“One thing to keep in mind is that we’ve been through the Great Recession of 2008-2009, we saw the dotcom bubble burst in the late 1990s, we’ve seen a whole wave of magazines come and go, we’ve seen a lot, and so much of it in my opinion is the fickle finger of fate,” O’Keefe continues. “Are we in the right niche at the right time? And that will determine quite often whether one succeeds or fails. Right now when people are looking to shelter in place and they want to do it in a manner that gives their families an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and be healthy, that falls right into our laps.”
O’Keefe and Rider are living the adage that brands that advertise during challenging times stay top of mind and will come out stronger on the other side. They aren’t going in for the diasterising; they are keeping the human connection in publishing top of mind.