Alfred Edmond Jr.
Alfred Edmond Jr.
SVP, Editor-in-Chief, Black Enterprise
Alfred Edmond has aggressively moved Black Enterprise into a true multiplatform brand, engaging readers in print, radio, television, events and online.
Alfred Edmond Jr. celebrated his 20th anniversary last month at Black Enterprise, a 37-year old business news source for African Americans. As most editors struggle with moving their magazine into a multi-platform brand, Edmond has already figured out the right formula for his magazine. “If I have a unique value I bring to the table, it’s the ability to find the right people to fit into this kind of program,” says Edmond. “I pride myself on being the general manager that somehow gets the best free agents. Not only getting them but getting them to play well together.”
Edmond has grown accustomed to thinking beyond ink on paper;a talent he says has been easy to do since he was never formally trained as a journalist anyway. “I never had to think of myself as a print guy. It’s very easy for me to think of our magazine in terms of television, radio, Web site and events.”
The magazine accounts for 60 percent of revenues, but the other platforms are catching up. The group has added a second television program, its syndicated radio show is in its second year and broadcasts in 30 markets, there are three events and the Web site attracts 450,000 unique visitors every month. Overall, the brand reaches four million customers.
The multiplatform strategy is tied to the realization that the magazine needs to target younger readers. “We need to take this message to people in their twenties, but they’re not ready to run out and get a business magazine, so we have to go to them,” Edmond says.
One of Edmond’s editorial strategies, and one that has kept the magazine at a robust and steady 510,000 ratebase, is to maintain a personal relationship with customers. “Most people never cancel a subscription, they just never get around to re-upping,” he says. “I tell my editors every issue of Black Enterprise has to solve 10 problems for every reader. If you think of yourselves as a good problem solver and not just a good writer, those are the magazines that get re-subscribed to. I’m a big believer in personalization. Readers need to know who we are.”
Edmond’s expertise in hiring multiplatform talent has enabled his magazine to remain steady at 510,000 circulation;making it the only business title to do so since the tech bust.