And speaking of those CEOs, a thought occurred to me that I left out of the editors note for that August issue: When you as an executive sign up to work with private equity -- such as Bob Krakoff at VNU or Paul Mackler at Cygnus -- the CEO, even as the high-profile frontman, even as someone who gets wealthy if things go right, remains an employee, serving at the pleasure of the PE firm.
First thought: Even through the digital workflow promised at its inception eight or nine years ago to be faster, less-expensive, more flexible, it never promised to solve the problem of standards for advertising, and sure enough, itâs still a big problem. Whatâs happened is the bugs and glitches from the film-production process have morphed into the bugs and glitches of digital production.
In many instances, the problems are the same, just caused by new processes. Thatâs ironic. The challenges are universal: Whether a small boutique agency or Draft FCB, a small printer or R.R. Donnelley, a regional publisher or Time Inc., the problems come down to poor color reproduction, proofing, odd cases of logos dropping out and more.
Hearstâs Jerry DâElia had it right in a session on liability when he said, âOne of the greatest frustrations I have is when people say the file was âtechnically okay,â but something happened in the RIP.â No one is responsible, and Iâm stuck with a makegood.â
Nan Gelhard, ad manager for Summit Racing and a moderator of one of the panels, said that âthe hurdles to workflow are human ones,â but I think thatâs only partly true. Training is important, but the larger hurdle is this: Overcoming the hodgepodge of ever-changing, narrowly applicable standards that create a cacophony in the market.
As long as there is no ironclad standard overseen by an organization like IdeAlliance, applicable throughout the supply chain, youâll have fonts bitmapping and logos inexplicably dropping off an ad. More...
Editors: Be nice to PR people, and be honest with them. If you're not interested in what they are trying to sell you, take a minute to explain to them what you are looking for, instead of ignoring them or hanging up the phone (you know who you are). Plus, you never know when you're going to need a PR person to turn something around for you when you've got 20 minutes until deadline, and a strong relationship will help get the job done.More...
Now fully acclimated to the Web, with top-notch, computer-assisted reporting skills (well, sort of), my first reporting job remains a mystery. How did I look up phone numbers? Find experts? Research topics? The Internet is great for all of that, but it has its drawbacks, as well.
Instantaneous, real-time news, often seen as blessing in the Internet age can be curse, as well. While it offers our audience news as it happens, it also sometimes frazzles the editors and reporters that try to keep up with whatâs going in their respective industries and on their respective beats without getting beat by the competition.
Recently, someone tipped off Folio: that printing company, Banta quietly submitted an SEC filing last week announcing the closure of five plants, the elimination of more than 500 jobs, and that it would pay its shareholders a $16 per share special dividend that it would borrow money to pay for.
Great story, we thought when we found out on Tuesday of this week. I quickly found the document, wrote the story and (sigh) saved it for Thursdayâs Folio: Alert.
Not a good idea. Stamford, Connecticut-based Cenveo today renewed the unsolicited takeover bid it made for Banta in August and criticized Bantaâs SEC filing in a letter made public and sent to various media outlets.
We got scooped on our own scoop. Lesson learned, point taken. In the Internet age, research is easy, breaking news is hard and saving stories is unwise. More...More...
Others joined in. This got me thinking. How many e-newsletters are too many? At Folio:, we try not to clog up peopleâs inboxes with e-mail newsletters because weâve seen the research and we know thatâs not what people want. We send out Folio: Alert once a week and Folio: Publishing Technology every two weeks.
Aside from that, we update our Web site daily with all the latest news, and weâll send a Folio: Special Alert for breaking news that just canât wait until our regular newsletter comes out. We did this last week with Time Inc.âs announcement that it would sell 18 magazines.
I subscribe to four email newsletters, three of which are daily and one that is weekly. I admit I donât always get a chance to read them all. Instead, I try to skim them, and if something catches my eye, Iâll read that one item.
But itâs not necessarily the daily newsletters that are the problem. As of late, Iâve noticed of number of e-newsletters, MediaWeek and WWD, are two that immediately come to mind, that are sending out two, even three newsletters, a day on topics that could easily wait for the following dayâs newsletter. Itâs just too many and people arenât reading them. At least Iâm not, and neither are the seven people who sat at my table last week at the HVDMA luncheon. More...