Should editors be marketers too?

Marketing is publishing’s core discipline and all members of the team need to be involved.

It’s the same with profit and loss trading statements. If your department is spending money, you need to know what revenue is coming back in – how to measure efficiency and success.

An editor needs to be a very good subscriptions marketer. They need subscriptions marketing advice as much as anyone. From her words below, it sounds as though Stacy Morrison, editor of Redbook is responding to letters from readers wanting to ‘protect’ their children at home from her articles about sex.

But believe me, the average teenager needs no such ‘protection’. This is simply about embarrassing parents.

But Stacy Morrison’s answer shows us that editors are thin-skinned and therefore highly, sometimes overly responsive to their readers. Is that ideal from a subscriptions marketing point of view?

Subscriptions marketing advice for editors
In this case, Stacey is keeping her subscribers happy – and that’s good marketing. As long is it doesn’t cost too much money to change her subscribers’ cover lines from ‘sex’ to ‘love’ on almost every issue ..

Sex on the cover of Redbook magazine

Here’s an extract from the blog Mr Magazine about the practice of carrying different coverlines and content in newstrade and subscription copies:

“Those of you who have been following my blog may remember that I have written more than once about Redbook magazine and the way it changes the word SEX to LOVE on the subscribers’ editions.

Well, today Stacy Morrison, Redbook’s editor-in-chief responded to my blog with the following:

“Hey there, Mr. Magazine. I wish I had seen this when you first posted it. I must have not read my Bloglines very closely that week.
In any case, I wanted to assure you that the switch between sex and love is a service for my at-home readers, who are constantly requesting that we “soften” our sex coverage on our covers because many of our readers have teenagers and other such types at home whom they don’t want perusing our sex content.”

More sex from Redbook

“Of course, I personally think that teenagers should peruse our sex content, but as an editor and a journalist and a person, I definitely know that my job is working for my readers and channelling their lives and desires, not telling them what those lives and desires should look like. So yeah, I guess that’s a marketing ploy, doing what my customers request.

Spot the sex on Redbook magazine’s cover

“We are very honest with our lives at Redbook, which is why our recent updates to the magazine have driven three record-breaking years in a row for the title. You’re not quite our target audience—that’s young women who are reinventing what it looks like to be a grown-up, aged 27 to 47—but we are flattered just the same.”
Stacy Morrison
Editor in Chief
Redbook and

Who’s not being honest?
So — do teenagers honestly need ‘protecting’ from discussions about sex?
Or is it the parents who need protecting?
Should parents be more honest and simply admit their embarrassment?
Is Stacey Morrison being honest in hiding the sex articles in Redbook magazine?

Read the whole debate at:

Mr Magazine

Redbook magazine

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