Magazines Playing Catch-Up to Find Online Strategy

In an interview with Chuck Cordray, vice president and general manager of Hearst Interactive Media, Mark Glaser of MediaShift looks Hearst Corporation’s strategy bring their magazine brands such as Cosmopolitan, Redbook and Seventeen, into the online space. In a little over a year, this is what they accomplished:

“….we built our content management system on an open source platform.. We built a circulation management system to sell those [print] subscriptions that are so profitable for the company. In October 2006, we took live our major system for subscriptions, by December we took the content management system live, and by February 2007 we launched the first set of sites. Between February and May, we launched 14 sites and five mobile sites.”

The interview covers a fair amount of territory, including how the Redbook editorial team integrates their print and web strategies:

“It varies from title to title, but let’s say with Redbook, it’s a great example of how well the integration can work. There are columnists who also blog. Most of the Redbook staff has written something for the website. In the early planning stage, when a print issue is being planned, the potential online applications for that issue are planned immediately. ‘What can we do, what can we promote in-book to tell people to get more?’ Here are 10 recipes, go online to get more. Those are things that begin when the issue is planned.”