Publishers are trusted media sources. That’s important today.

This crisis demands publishers assert their role as a trusted source of information and niche communications leaders. This visibility and leadership is the aspect that will set the brand apart from others as we pivot to the new normal. The information, awareness, and news updates you provide will be foundational in how the brand is perceived long past this crisis period.

So while your publishing team and business is confronted with all the same challenges of your consumer/business audiences everywhere, you have another calling and responsibility. Your audience, partners, and advertisers seek information from trusted media brands, and that’s you.

Updated March 31, 2020 for Additional Publishing Resources in the Ear of the COVID-19 Pandemic:

As we promote a digital medium, one of the problems I’ve always had with typical definitions of a magazine related to using the word “printed” and “permanent.” In a modern digital era, nothing is permanent.  In 2016, I defined a magazine

“A periodic compilation of sequenced relative materials and edited content published in a designed format.”
– David Blankenship, President Advontemedia Inc (2016)

Since this time I’ve also felt that the magazine publishing model is an ongoing enterprise, and that one of it’s most valuable aspects is the anticipation created from the established brand value of a periodical.  In 2018, I sought to further define my definition to add this additional aspect to the modern magazine definition:

“An anticipated periodic compilation of sequenced relative materials and edited content published in a designed format.”
– David Blankenship, President Advontemedia Inc (2018)

This said, here I am updating a blog post from earlier this week to add additional value can create a better resource for long term. When we publish digital content and can see an opportunity to make it better, we simple augment the original post.  periodical publishers have the ability to do this in the “next issue” but there are times that the Internet favors older evergreen content.  In those cases we seek to edit and link forward content even if it’s a premium issue and the recent issue has further context.  This type of assistive users resource is what makes the web so dynamic and capable. Having these capabilities for a niche that allows a publisher to communicate relevant information about the audience interests is a truly valuable function for even the smallest publication, association, or group.  The #COVID19 pandemic is demonstrating that audiences want information even from their local and niche publishing sources- see As publisher traffic continues to surge, local news sees an 89% boost | What’s New in Publishing By Monojoy Bhattacharjee – URL

We’re also realizing that we’re a digital society.  And while there has been no trace of disease transfer from print publications, most forward thinking publishers and association media professionals realize the future of publications is indeed digital.

The events and focus on a digital transformation for print publications is already in process.

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North American news media companies of every size and market are facing pressure to transform from print to digital. Doing so successfully requires a pivot in nearly all aspects of your organization.

So I’ve inserted these additions to this post for further context:  The publisher role is important & it’s time to face the reality that a focus on the digital brand is paramount to that of print.  I held off a long time saying that. It’s not always easy to make the transition and it’s more important than ever to deliver a relevant story to audience.  And unless you’re a coffee table print edition known more for the printed deliverable format than the editorial product between the pages, digital is your future.  Now we return you to the original crisis blog post and immediate editorial strategy tips.


Audience & Editorial Strategy

Regardless of your total audience reach, publish and develop content/news today as if you are the only remaining source of information covering your industry niche. And, share other news and media sources that provide relevant information to your industry or publishing niche so audiences know you are providing comprehensive updates beyond your own brand.

The vast majority of content published should reference to, or be in context to the Coronavirus outbreak and resulting COVID-19 Disease

People are intently seeking information today and all content should be centered around news & information within the context of this worldwide crisis

Here are some key strategic considerations:

1. What publication departments / categories / topics should be adjusted today?

  • Make the appropriate changes (even changes that may be deemed as drastic) now to your website landing pages and navigation to ensure visitors are exposed to your information
  • Review prior content and resources and add context where value to the current situation

2. People want to remain safe & informed: How can you help to interpret government & major mass media news and orders to your industry?

  • For social channels, you are actively managing and using for collaboration – reference the national news and begin social media dialog threads about what this means for your niche.

3. Increase email and social updates to inform audiences about these aspects

  • Minimum weekly but more likely, multiple times per week an update strategy that provides perspective to the evolving impact to your covered niche will help your updates become a barometer on the situation

4. Facilitate necessary modern digital era communications

  • In-person events and physical media distribution may be limited in the near term.  Publishers must facilitate the necessary livestreams, podcasts, video, and other multi-media formats that will now be required and may actually have other engagement advantages to augment in-person events and media after the crisis

5. Expand to cover the industry/community supply chain and trading partners for your industry

  • Expand coverage to the industry vertical partners that are part of the business ecosystem.  How are/is ordering, deliveries, and other procedures and tactics set to change?

6. Facilitate communication for urgent assistance

  • Audiences and industry suppliers may need help or they may be available to help each other if they know where the needs exist today.


Advertisers and Industry Supply Chain Partners

Facilitating important updates and marketing communications will be what differentiates the media brand to the advertiser, sponsors, and new vertical partners that see the brand’s communication value.  Sales representatives should change their engagement to reflect a role that shows they are establishing communication mediums for information to reach editorial, and look for connections to help current and potential advertisers reach your audience with their related messaging.

Become a crucial resources to all industry partners:

1. Immediately engage current advertisers and other major potential advertisers/partners

  • Advise the leadership (engage multiple people for larger organizations) of these companies how important their news is today and for the weeks ahead to rise ahead in the recovery and return to business in what may be very modified & innovative ways
  • Advise advertisers that the publication is publishing on a schedule (daily as needed, weekly as normally scheduled and within the next issue) this critical industry status updates

2. Get these companies AND every other relevant industry partner (even if not an advertiser today) on a simple schedule of providing you what messages are most critical for you to report on about their brand today

  • Advise that you will be checking in on a regular basis for their update. There is no cost for providing their news update – publishers want to establish new communication channels with these industry participants
  • Establish a communication cycle and deliver value to these partners in a way that demonstrates your importance to their businesses

3. At the right time in the future, the ad sales team can then get back to a marketing and promotion value relationship and turnkey needs into a recommendation for what options an advertising program will provide.

  • Demonstrating coverage and leadership is a powerful foundation for showing how important published communications are to educate audiences to new changes

This focus on immediate continuation of the publishing communication value your audience expects combined with the information the industry participants can provide will affirm your publishing value. This communication confirms your brand role for the major news and information that will be necessary for the industry recovery. This publishing leadership is what people will remember in the years ahead.




VERTIQUL™ designs magazine content vertically for a modern reader experience. The solution solves the major challenge digital editions have faced with low engagement and readership past the first few page turns of the traditional flip-edition issue. A modern digital user experience is based on a vertical newsfeed or flow UX pattern and not a horizontal pattern that requires edge clicks and flipping. VERTIQUL takes a digital design approach to existing publisher magazine print issue files or to completely new digital magazine/newsletter publication content. The vertical editions allow readers to have full control over their issue progression and publishers can extend creativity to longer editorial in feature content pages with a simple finger tap or slide. Every issue is available to readers on any device without the complexity of apps, newsstands, or digital edition software that doesn’t keep up with the way we want to read designed digital content today.

For more information:
David Blankenship, Founder & President

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