The Magazine Publishers of America said on Friday that it is renaming itself the MPA — The Association of Magazine Media. The notable difference is the omission of the word publishers. Why?
“MPA is underscoring the fact that magazine media content engages consumers globally across multiple platforms, including websites, tablets, smartphones, books, live events and more.”
“More” presumably means “printed magazines,” but nobody in media is all that hot on associating themselves with words like “publish” and “print” because to young people (or young “consumers” in the parlance that people use when their sole desire is to make money from you) and investors those words smell like death.
When magazine publishers like Conde Nast and newspaper publishers like Advance Publications (like Conde Nast, owned by the Newhouses) have been forced to cut hundreds if not thousands of jobs and stop publishing some of their products, it doesn’t do much good in the public relations department to accentuate the part of your business that is fading, even if it still produces 80 to 90 percent of your revenue. Fortunately, Time Inc CEO and incoming MPA Chairman Jack Griffin manages to refer in passing to “print” one time in the press release quote.
My question: Why do this so soon after magazine publishers devoted $90 million in advertising space to the MPA just this year for its “Magazines, the Power of Print” campaign? I’m lined up to talk to someone at the MPA to ask that question and will update when I hear it. The ad campaign, in the unlikely case that you missed it, tries to convince advertisers that print still is worth spending money on. It’s interesting at the very least to segue into a whole new message so soon afterward.