The Man, the Magazine, the Addiction

magazinemakers-bookIt’s not misguided romanticism or a refusal to innovate. Print’s experience is more like an addiction than a media channel for Mr. Magazine.

Stalwart print scholar and advocate Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni is unabashed in his belief in the power of printed media, and often espouses its importance in for brands.

Some in the industry feel that Husni is biased toward magazines as a channel strategy for personal or subjective notions. Not so, as he recently made clear to James Meyers, CEO and founder of Imagination.

“We’re not in love with the platform,” Husni told Meyers. “To be in the media business, you have to be platform-agnostic as long as your audience is platform-agnostic. Whether you employ print, digital or events, [the medium] must be relevant to the audience, but [also its] own experience.”

Weird personification references aside (Husni compared digital to  an alluring mistress, luring media companies away from their first love, print, while as it turns out print and digital exist more like brother and sister.), print absolutely resonates with the generation many thought would be the least like to adopt – Millennials.

According to Meyers, Husni related a conversation he had with his grandson, who was holding both a hard cover book and an iPad. “When I asked which of the two he liked best,” Husni told Meyers, “he responded, ‘Why do I have to choose?’ ”

This “why choose” attitude is finally resonating with marketers who are rediscovering that print belongs side by side with digital in a solid multi-channel strategy, especially when looking to reach the important Millennial demographic.

“Boomers like Husni and me understand print’s allure — and why it’s the new, new thing,” writes Meyers. “The tangibility, the dimensionality, the packaging, the format, the content and its presentation all make print compelling. To borrow from [a Columbia Journalism Review] article: “Print is beautiful. It can’t notify you when a work email arrives, can’t be tweeted mid-sentence, and won’t die without a charger. Even better, it’s finite.”

Putting his efforts and expertise where his mouth is, Husni and his team at the Magazine Innovation Center are about to launch a print magazine called Amplify, with a first issue due out next month.

“Like the man, the magazine, which debuts in April, will celebrate the medium’s promise to deliver an engaging, if not addictive, experience — one that’s more robust, more tactile, more experiential than anything digital can achieve,” writes Meyers.

And that, my friends, is the state of the art today. Addicting.