Mike’s 24 B2B Editorial Essentials

By Howard Rauch

Whether you’re talking about websites, digital magazines or conventional publications, high-quality content is essential. That’s not necessarily a new thought; however, it does seem to be getting more support from the B2B blogger community.

In fact, even as important as top-notch content may be, there are essential ways to achieve that goal that may have gotten lost in the shuffle. Recently I was reminded of that reality while reading a commentary about “How to Succeed in Trade Magazine Publishing.”

The author, Mike Antich, is a group editor at Bobit Business Media, a company that few can surpass when it comes to emphasizing editorial excellence. I have known Mike for the 20 years BBM has been an Editorial Solutions client. He just finished a stint as president of one of his industry’s key associations. Tomorrow he may send out an e-mail inquiry to several dozen contacts pertaining to a feature he has in the works. And most likely, almost everybody will respond, because Mike is no stranger.

On a typical day, he may be preparing one of several blogs … or speaking at an important industry event … or supervising an array of weekly e-newsletters and magazines of varying frequencies published by his group. For those reasons among others, I thought his recent memo deserved your attention.

His description of 24 essential practices serves as a reminder that beyond delivering high-quality content, there are other equally important ways to attain status as an industry authority. What follows is an outline of Mike’s list.

(1) Make a commitment to become a subject-matter expert.

(2) Read all the back issues of your publication.

(3) Go out of your way to meet new people.

(4) Develop the reputation of being someone who is trustworthy.

(5) Tape record interviews; upon listening, you’ll be surprised at nuances you missed.

(6) Take notes of “casual” conversations that occur at conferences.

(7) Request story assignments about topics you don’t understand.

(8) Volunteer to help produce industry directories.

(9) Maintain relationships even when people move on to different positions.

(10) Develop a reputation of being the industry’s go-to person.

(11) Get to know the people running your industry associations.

(12) If asked to serve in an association, accept the offer and provide a 100% commitment.

(13) Write a blog.

(14) Give industry speeches. The preparation effort required forces you to become an expert.

(15) Be aggressive in your use of e-mail.

(16) Develop a curiosity and passion about your industry.

(17) Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.

(18) Seek out mentors.

(19) Listen – don’t talk too much.

(20) Always ask what’s new.

(21) Peer-review your articles.

(22) Never stop learning.

(23) Never make enemies in your industry.

(24) Be a thorough researcher.

Yes … I think this is terrific list! Undoubtedly some or all of the practices deserve a higher priority than what I perceive to be our preoccupation with social media, key words, editorial analytics, landing pages and other modern concepts.

*You can email Howard for a full commentary at howard@editsol.com.
Howard Rauch is president of Editorial Solutions Inc., a consultancy focusing on B2B magazines. Rauch is the 2002 recipient of ASBPE’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Please share this page with your friends and colleagues.