The Long and Short of It

Rob Martin, Agency Principal and Managing Director of MM2 Public Relations

I recently overheard one of our account teams planning outreach to “long lead” media.  It got me thinking:  In a world with Twitter, Google News and a 24-hour news cycle, where the story of U.S. Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson can go from iPhone to CNN in a matter of minutes, where lead times seem to be getting shorter and shorter, is the concept of “long lead” media still relevant?  And is anyone paying attention?

I think the answer to both questions is “yes.”

The term “long leads” typically refers to magazines, and while there have been some tough times in that industry, I think there’s still a place for those that offer quality and appeal to consumer interests.  I subscribe to several magazines at home.  And the point is, in addition to the magazines’ long lead times in the production cycle, I have a personal long lead time when I’m reading and enjoying them.

It’s a different type of experience.  In contrast to rushing through various news sources in the office to get a sense of the day’s news, magazines are meant to be enjoyed in the comfort of home, when you have more time and the right mindset to think, react, re-read and reference other related and relevant stories elsewhere.  It’s sometimes a leisure-time activity that can be enjoyed on the weekend, on an airplane, or on a beach.  And the best magazines give you the in-depth content you may not have time to absorb at any other time or in any other place.

For marketers and others with a particular story to tell – or something to sell – they know that consumers may be in a more receptive mood when perusing their favorite magazines.  They have more time to think, understand and evaluate.  And they may be in the mood to compare and plan purchases.  I would say there’s definitely a need for this type of media outlet.

In a short-lead world, it’s comforting to know that long leads are still there for us.

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One response

  1. Rob, I think you hit the nail on the head referring to “long leads.” As people rush from one shiny object to the next, we tend to forget or toss aside those things that worked in the past. As we come to realize that magazines are meant to be enjoyed in the comfort of our homes, when we have the downtime to appreciate them, and when the producers of this content wake up, they will discern they don’t have to react to the new ‘thing’ nor keep up with the Jones, as it were. It’s interesting to watch everyone clamor aboard the latest trend and then see them scramble to get off the moving train when they realize it may not take them where they thought they were going.

    October 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

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