When we launched Platinum Business Magazine almost four years ago, we were passionate disciples of print, extolling the virtues of REAL magazines. Of course, we also worked very hard at our online and digital offering - and recently our online readers exceeded 460,000, which is a staggering figure for what is ultimately a regional title. But if you cut us in half, we bled ink.
Part of our passion for print can be attributed to the fact that we (my co-director Maarten and myself) are of the generation that was raised on newspapers, magazines and books. Like everyone else we consume digital content in huge volumes, but we love the aesthetic feel of a freshly printed mag.
It had reached the point where emails had reached saturation point. Our readers have told us how refreshing it was to receive a proper magazine through the letterbox. A welcome break from the incessant screens that dominate every waking hour.
We can still talk all day about how wonderful print is, but we now have a website (thanks to the wonderful people at Nexus) we are equally as proud of. One that we will update daily with blogs and features from leading businesspeople from across the South East. It will be the go-to business site for the region.
Quality wins out
So have we switched allegiances in the big print versus digital debate?
In fact it was always the wrong question. The only thing that ever matters is the quality and authenticity of the writing. The internet is awash with poor quality content, but then again, so is the world of print.
The internet and social media allows everyone the opportunity to communicate to the world, and that has to be a good thing. But the casualty has been good old fashioned journalism. The newspaper groups, with their huge wage bills and crippling pension commitments, have seen advertising revenues and readership numbers plummet. Even the most provincial of newspapers used to have a newsroom of journalists and photographers on hand to cover a local story. Now the only local presence is a stressed-out sales rep.
On a national level, the big names have struggled for years, working out how to adapt to the brave new world. The Times has a pay wall. The Guardian pleads for donations. The Telegraph offers a few free teasers but blocks free views of the decent stuff.
It has been doom and gloom in the newspaper world for years, but some of the biggest media institutions in the US are seeing a huge resurgence - and it is Donald Trump who can be thanked. The New York Times and Washington Post have seen a big upturn over the last year and The Economist speculates on one important reason:
“Mr Trump’s attacks on both newspapers—“the failing New York Times”, “more fake news from the Amazon Washington Post”—have almost certainly helped their bottom lines. His presidency has created an urgency around news that has made old-fashioned journalism more in vogue than it has been probably since Watergate. Fake news shared on social media has reinforced a feeling that real news costs money.”
There is again a value placed on great, informed writing. Our model at Platinum has been simple. We surround ourselves by experts. It is often said that the best way to succeed is to surround yourself by people clever that you are.
So when it comes to writing about financing a business, we ask directors from the leading banks, when writing about legal matters we commission managing partners from top law firms, our travel pages are penned by one of the leading young business travel journalists, our food and drink critic is a leading Brighton restauranteur, and the same philosophy permeates the whole magazine.
Print or digital, there is an appetite for informative writing and content. The quality of our writers ensure that you will alway find this in our publications and web pages.