Doesn’t that sound weird? Why would I get a monthly version of a weekly PR trade magazine? Most subscribers know what’s going on. Actually, a bunch of non-subscribers knows what’s going on too. As a subscriber, I was a little concerned when PRWeek announced it was going monthly. I’m still feeling the sting of two of my favorite magazines changing their frequency and distribution, one ceased to exist and the other went mostly online.
I was equally concerned about PRWeek locking up all their online content for subscribers-only (you’ll need a subscription to read the article). While I can read all the content as a subscriber, I’m significantly limited in my ability to share their great content with other professionals. I’m fine with that though, that’s the business model they’ve opted to go with. I enjoy their content and will continue to subscribe. There are just a lot of other potential subscribers that won’t have access to PRWeek content like they used to. This means the publication will have to find new ways to reach prospective subscribers, increasing their costs.
But back to the new monthly format. The new monthly format gets a big “thumbs up” from me. As a subscriber since the beginning, I’m pretty impressed by the new print format. For starters, it’s no longer in that clunky, tissue-paper thin format. I can’t tell you how many times PRWeek arrived on my desk looking like the dog ate it. The new “normal” sized magazine is perfect. It’s easier to scan the contents and flip the pages. This format seems to support better layouts, and the paper choice makes the colors pop on the pages.
But What About the Content?
For starters, there’s a cover story. This month is on Microsoft’s “Change Agent” Simon Sproule. No more scanning five stories on the cover to figure out your point of entry. Some content, such as Campaigns, Newsmakers, Roundtable, and Journalist Q&A remain the same. But there’s a bunch of new stuff in there now too. For example, I like the Lowdown (stats), Campaign of the Month, and Domains (the month’s “buzziest” Web service – this month its Ensemble) sections.
There’s also a “Gloves Off” section that I’d like to take a swing at, where two industry personalities face off on an important issue of the month (this month pits Sean Cassidy, President of DKC, against Steve Cody, Managing Partner of Peppercom, to take on the issue “Are Fixed Monthly Retainers the Best Billing Option for PR Agencies?”
In conclusion, I think PRWeek is on the right track to re-energize its readership. If this month’s coverage is any indication of what we can expect under Julia Hood’s watch, I think subscribers will be pleased with the changes. Provided of course you like getting your industry news from your mailbox, but that’s another topic.