Like most preconceptions, the idea that digital media was born into this world to destroy print is preposterous. The blame game has gone on long enough. The problem is digital and print media have not been properly introduced to each other. And whose fault is that? Certainly not the words and pixels that make up each platform. No, the fault belongs to the people who love both mediums, but who are determined to keep wedging the divide even deeper into their differences. Namely, us, folks.
This next April 17-20, 2018, the Magazine Innovation Center at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media on the campus of the University of Mississippi will hold its annual ACT Experience. ACT stands for Amplify, Clarify and Testify on and about the future of print in a digital age. This time around we’re up to number eight, and it’s going to be an eye-opener. The theme of the ACT 8 Experience is: Print Proud, Digital Smart. And that’s exactly the phrase we all have to start living by if we want our magazines to be successful in the 21st century.
In an interview I did a few months ago with Michael Clinton, President, Marketing and Publishing Director for Hearst Magazines, I took deep notice of a comment that he made during our conversation. When I asked him where he thought Hearst’s future was heading, part of his answer was, “Obviously, we believe in our core product – which is print. Why do we believe so strongly? It’s because the consumer believes so strongly in it. Then, of course, like everyone else, have a very significant build-out on all digital and social platforms. All that has to run parallel to our print issues. We want our brands living everywhere. I think that’s a multiplatform approach, with the core always being very important.”
So, basically “Print Proud, Digital Smart.” In fact, I give Michael credit for coining ACT 8’s theme. And he’s absolutely right. If you want to succeed in today’s world in the magazine business, you have to be Print Proud & Digital Smart. It’s not a choice, it’s an absolute. And if you want to hear and learn more about this highly evocative concept, make plans today to join us in Oxford, Miss. for the ACT 8 Experience, April 17-20, 2018. You won’t be disappointed.
More information about the ACT 8 Experience will be added here in the upcoming days and weeks. Stay tuned!