There are no easy, one-size-fits-all answers to how magazines can survive COVID-19 and the resulting recession. But asking the right questions can help you navigate your magazine through these rough waters.
Here are 10 that may help you retool your publication for a not-so-brave new world:
1. What are your readers’ current wants or needs that you are uniquely able to fulfill via a magazine format?
The answer to that question has probably changed drastically in the past two months. It’s a key to making so many of the important decisions you’re probably facing, such as whether you should alter your editorial coverage, scale back or skip issues, change frequency, recruit and renew subscribers differently, or overhaul your business model.
What your readers don’t need is a rehash of news that they’ve already gotten from digital or broadcast media a week or more ago. But they might want help understanding what the pandemic means for the industry, topic, or special interest your magazine serves.
Maybe you can help them figure out how to work, run a business, or manage a family while sheltered in place. Or maybe they want an escape – to hold something that transports them to a place not ruled by viruses or recessions. Or maybe they don’t want to hear from you at all until the crisis ends.
by D. Eadward Tree, Publishing Executive