How do you know the world is spinning faster? When the magazine industry starts thinking new paradigm. The Time corporation announced layoffs as a way to beef up its online presence (this is how things are done in the corporate world). Now Hatchette Filipacchi Media U.S. has institutionalized its web and electronics operations with the announcement of a new V.P.
The publisher named Marta Wohrle as VP-director of digital media, responsible for the development of 16 Web sites, four mobile applications, digital editions for all Hachette titles, joint ventures in new media, video-on-demand and new media acquisitions.
Looking to the future is the goal, and Hatchette will be increasing web staff and implementing cross-platform strategies — none announced as of yet, but Wohrle probably hasn’t had time to pick out her office furniture, much less cross-platform anything. Though we remain curious about the idea of video-on-demand. So intriguing.
“Migrating our assets to new digital platforms will require new strategies for creating content. As content is increasingly conceived for multiple platforms, we may, at times need to form new partnerships. We’ll need to develop the skills and systems that enable print- and screen-based resources to be shared and vigorous cross-promotion to be fostered,” he [Jack Kliger, president-CEO of Hachette] said.
Although magazine publishers were among the first to recognize the power — and threat — the Internet presented, Mr. Guelton said every magazine publisher now understands that the question is not whether to have a digital strategy, but how fast to execute it.
“The bigger difficulty for us is to truly understand and accept and implement the idea that we are not defined by paper or by a distribution form,” he said. “We are as magazines defined by content, editors and a relationship with marketers.”
This is certainly the right thinking, but, as we’ve learned, it’s all about the execution. The publisher is behind magazines as diverse as Woman’s Day, Elle, and Road & Track. Good products, but we’re going to offer a bit of useful advice: strong web presences begin at home. Finding the Hatchette (much less Hatchette U.S. operations) home page was an exercise in ingenuity. If they can’t find you, they won’t come.