Recently I’ve been in discussions with several publishers in stable markets who are considering redesign. They contacted me to inquire about how a relationship with a consultant might work, and I gave them a number of options. One interesting facet of their plans: targeting a launch date of 18 months or more away.
I asked, why wait so long? Unless you are installing new presses, or awaiting a big loan to clear from the bank, I say, dive in! Here’s why.
If you know the time is right for a revamp, your advertisers may sense this, too. They may constantly be asking the question: should I renew my ad contract? Should I scale back? A redesign effort can head off attrition. Even if they are not sitting around awaiting your redesign, they will almost certainly embrace it when they hear the news. (If you have a devoted following among readers, as these companies seem to, they are probably not sitting around complaining about how stale the headline font seems, so let’s focus on advertisers for the moment.)
Even if they are more or less content, there’s virtue in revamping sooner rather than later if you can show advertisers – current and potential, and yes, even lost – that you are still in the game, that you are in a healthy position, and that you are investing in improvements. You especially want to convince them that you can showcase their messages to readers in a fresh, dynamic light, and draw additional attention to their campaigns with your own marketing and outreach.
The end goal of all this? New or renewed advertising contracts. Then, potentially, higher ad rates down the line, greater revenue, expansion of your editorial and marketing product lines. A successful print redesign can be the mechanism that cements a multimedia ad package for your clients – a comprehensive print/web/email campaign – and helps them understand how print is just one component of a successful outreach effort.
If you are a trusted source in your market, a solid redesign sooner rather than later may also be the signal that helps you expand into a broader communications company – offering website design, annual reports, catalogs, direct mail or other collateral.
Related or semi-related:
- Six questions about the redesign process.
- Putting your publication on the market? Freshen up with redesign
- Follow Ron Reason Consulting on Twitter.