The August 2013 issue of Urgent Communications (UC) will be its last as Penton announces it will focus solely on digital content, effective immediately.
UC, which covers communications technology for the government, public safety, utility, transportation and enterprise sectors, serves an audience looking for a print-free product, says Gregg Herring, vice president of Penton’s Public Infrastructure Group.
“This is a marketplace that is geared to and focused around wireless communication,” he says.
New UC content will be available through its website and UC Today, a twice-weekly electronic newsletter.
According to Herring, Penton’s model for content publication has changed. Out is the old paginated magazine model and in are new digital platforms and data-driven content.
“I personally think that digital editions are really not the opportunity for conversion to a digital product,” says Herring. “You’re not going to see the September issue done in a print style and then sent out digitally. We’re just not doing that.”
Herring contends the decision to go solely digital was made after months of research, reader surveys and talks with advertisers.
“One of the changing dynamics is digital and it having a direct impact on ROI,” says Herring. “Our revenue streams are built around advertising and our advertisers are looking for measurable ROI.”
Despite serious cost considerations surrounding the decision, Herring insists consumer engagement, not cost, remains the driving force. Additionally, no jobs will be lost, only shuffled around, but new hires are not likely either.
“This is more than just about no longer publishing a print product. This is about building a 365-day engagement model,” says Herring.
Audience engagement will be built around Penton’s International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE), an industry trade show and educational conference. UC’s new digital product will be rebranded as IWCE’s Urgent Communications.
“Our goal is to expand the reach of IWCE by providing continuing education year round that will make our readers more proficient,” say Stacey Orlick, IWCE content director, in a statement.