Some publishers like separation between print and digital brands, allowing the Web site to be just close enough to exploit print’s brand stature while simultaneously developing unique and exclusive content, often catering to a very different audience.
Yet for Field & Stream, which has just undergone a redesign and is under new editorial leadership with the appointment of Anthony Licata into the top editor spot, the magazine is moving purposefully toward a closer relationship with its Web-based alter ego.
The ties between the two products, however, don’t simply rely on a half-page, “What’s Online” department in the magazine, or story callouts driving the reader online “for more on this topic.”
A new front-of-book print department called Campfire is constructed largely from reader-generated content, spanning letters, stories, interview excerpts, reader tips, and blog excerpts that inherently drives the reader back online—either for more about a topic or to continue a debate. And the magazine benefits, too. Debates, discussion, or images, for example, that originate online, can be continued in print. “When I say we’re tying them together, we’re using our readers on our Web site to come up with stories and story ideas, which will end up in the magazine. It’s a little subtler than just pushing people back and forth.”