Mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner is once again in the middle of an embarrassing sex scandal. After taking a break from politics and public life to let the last scandal blow over, this second indiscretion could be the nail in the coffin for his public support and career. Matt Wilson’s article on PR Daily about Weiner’s PR woes questions whether the politician is working for the good of the people, or just his ego. Continue Reading →
After over 80 years of service, prominent print magazine, Newsweek will end all print publishing by the end of this year. According to NYTimes.com the news came from the Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown in an online message posted on The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast and Newsweek made headlines in 2012 when the two merged. In her message, Brown stated that staff would continue to publish a digital magazine called Newsweek Global, which customers would pay for and The Daily Beast would continue to be a free website.
Although the news of a print publication going under is hardly surprising, Newsweek is a major publication and the fact that it will no longer be available in print speaks volumes for the ever changing landscape of digital media. More and more publications are choosing to eliminate their print editions entirely because of the severe amount of money they are losing. For example, Newsweek has an estimated $40 million in losses annually. Something they hope to turn around with the elimination of printed editions.
In its heyday Newsweek would often compete with Time magazine weekly for breaking stories and eye-catching covers. Now that Newsweek’s print has been given the ax, the biggest question to be asked now is what will become of “Time” print editions?
Here is a fascinating article in the New Yorker about the history of recessions and company spending. Something to think about for those companies that are letting fear paralyze smart marketing decisions.
The New Yorker, The Financial Page, Hanging Tough
April 20, 2009
In the late nineteen-twenties, two companies—Kellogg and Post—dominated the market for packaged cereal. It was still a relatively new market: ready-to-eat cereal had been around for decades, but Americans didn’t see it as a real alternative to oatmeal or cream of wheat until the twenties. So, when the Depression hit, no one knew what would happen to consumer demand. Post did the predictable thing: it reined in expenses and cut back on advertising. But Kellogg doubled its ad budget, moved aggressively into radio advertising, and heavily pushed its new cereal, Rice Krispies. (Snap, Crackle, and Pop first appeared in the thirties.) By 1933, even as the economy cratered, Kellogg’s profits had risen almost thirty per cent and it had become what it remains today: the industry’s dominant player.
You’d think that everyone would want to emulate Kellogg’s success, but, when hard times hit, most companies end up behaving more like Post. They hunker down, cut spending, and wait for good times to return. They make fewer acquisitions, even though prices are cheaper. They cut advertising budgets. And often they invest less in research and development. They do all this to preserve what they have. But there’s a trade-off: numerous studies have shown that companies that keep spending on acquisition, advertising, and R. & D. during recessions do significantly better than those which make big cuts. In 1927, the economist Roland Vaile found that firms that kept ad spending stable or increased it during the recession of 1921-22 saw their sales hold up significantly better than those which didn’t. A study of advertising during the 1981-82 recession found that sales at firms that increased advertising or held steady grew precipitously in the next three years, compared with only slight increases at firms that had slashed their budgets. And a McKinsey study of the 1990-91 recession found that companies that remained market leaders or became serious challengers during the downturn had increased their acquisition, R. & D., and ad budgets, while companies at the bottom of the pile had reduced them.
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