Smaller publishers tailor content to fit media

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The key to developing a successful multimedia editorial strategy is to target the content to the specific medium, according to a panel of Neal Award-winning editors who spoke during Monday's opening session. The Entrepreneurial Committee & Smaller Publishers session on “Blended Content Strategies” featured Wyatt Kash, editor in chief of Government Computer News; Bill McDowell, VP-editorial director at Marketing & Technology Group; and Tudor Van Hampton, Chicago bureau chief of Engineering News-Record. All three emphasized how print, online and events play off and support each other. Kash explained how 1105 Media's GCN annually honors leading government IT executives in print and then expands its write-ups of the award winners online with examples of their work. It also asks them to participate in one-hour e-seminars for which GCN sells sole sponsorships. “It's a lead-generation tool that we've been able to produce for the business department,” Kash said, adding that the sessions, whose content the editors control, typically generate 250 to 300 leads for the sponsors. McDowell traced how M&T Group re-evaluated the print-online content relationship in relaunching Meat Marketing & Technology as meatingplace in January 2006. Not only did the magazine take the name of the company's popular Web site, which McDowell said had eclipsed the print brand, it shifted its emphasis to providing strategic insight rather than data and how-to stories “that had no business being in print.” Van Hampton discussed how ENR, a McGraw-Hill Cos. magazine that dates to 1874, used various media to cover last year's collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis. ENR provided breaking news coverage online and then devoted its first weekly print issue after the disaster to in-depth analysis of what had gone wrong. A few months later, it held an industry management conference that focused on America's infrastructure. “They all build on each other,” Van Hampton said of print, online and events. M
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