Friday, March 04, 2011

Magazines Canada launches its own magazine to send around the world

Magazines Canada has just launched its new biannual magazine Canadian Magazines Canadiens intended to promote the excellence of Canadian magazines with decision makers (about 54% of its circulation will be Canadian publishing professionals.)  It's being distributed to 67 countires. Contributors include such respected consultants and industry leaders as Kim Pittaway, former editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, Deborah Rosser, former publisher of Canadian Business, D.B. Scott, publisher of [disclosure] and Madeleine LeBlanc, freelance writer and former associate editor at EnRoute. Production and creative was handled by Spafax Canada and Spafax Interactive.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy cow. Am I missing something here? Am I going insane or is Magazines Canada? How is that even ONE of the 3,000 copies of this magazine is being sent to "Canadian publishing professionals"? Why is even one cent being spent to sell the goodness of Canadian magazines to the very people who produce them? When I read that "about 54% of its circulation will be Canadian publishing professionals," I raised both hands to my face, pressed my fingers hard into my eyes and wondered why on earth are we sending this...TO OURSELVES. It just doesn't make sense. It looks very much like a fed-funded circle jerk. What DOES make sense is to send it to EVERY SINGLE media buyer and marketing VP in the country. I can even see why it would be sent to every MP in the country (which is being done, 300+ copies). But, to send 54% of the run to "Canadian publishing professionals" is a laughable WASTE of money.

What am I missing here? D.B., you're actually involved in this apparent boondoggle. What's the defensible rationale for Canadian publishing professionals (as represented by MagsCan) for spending loadsadough to tell those same professionals how great their product is?

5:32 pm  
Blogger D. B. Scott said...

My involvement does not extend beyond being a paid contributor. My understanding, however, is that it is intended to encourage those in the business, those on whom the business depends to some degree (funders, MPs), and colleagues in international publishing community to recognize what a dynamic industry it is; something not always recognized.

10:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1 here: Thank you for attempting to explain -- it's appreciated. And, agreed, your role is merely as a paid contributor -- you are not responsible or accountable for this expenditure.

The question remains, though: why in the world is more than half the run being sent, at great expense, to the very people whose products and talents are being showcased? It's outrageous and ridiculous. It's like spending a small fortune to hire a contract publisher to produce a glossy magazine about the quality of Canadian-built canoes, and sending most of the copies to Canadian canoe manufacturers. Shouldn't such a magazine be sent to the people who might actually buy a Canadian canoe instead the people who make the freaking things?

The circ model reduces this effort to an absolutely staggering vanity project.

The content may be first rate and really well done, but the mailing list is so utterly botched that it reduces the whole affair to a completely shameless exercise in truly idiotic narcissism.

Gould or Rosser or Jamison presumably read this blog. One hopes that, despite my anonymity (seen by some to automatically invalidate anything I say), they might take a moment, in this forum, to at least attempt to answer the question I've raised...because it will be asked again the next time MagsCan goes hat in hand flapping its lips in search for my money.

P.S. This promotional "project" would make a great dart for The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and the National Post. And it would be an entirely fair comment.

1:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am reminded of the movie 'Dave' starring Kevin Kline, when the topic of an ad campaign to make people feel good about American cars they had already purchased was axed by the President of the USA in an executive committee...

10:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know... it seems to me that it's not at all unusual for an industry association to produce a trade magazine. Lots of them do it.

12:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking carefully at the ads, they seem to reflect an emphasis on the suppliers and the services they offer to the industry- the role of a trade book. This may explain the focus of the mailing. The content does not seem right for a media buyer audience. Perhaps they will think about this for subsequent issues? Looks good.

1:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon #1 here. This isn't a trade magazine, like the late Masthead mag, which provided useful news and feature articles. This appears to be a feel-good exercise in self-glorifying advertorial showcasing association member mags and the power of the medium. Big difference.

I have no problem with such a mag being produced by MagsCan. I just think that the circ model is kissing a mirror. If a massage shop provided 54% of its massages free-of-charge to its own staff, would you be confident of its financial future?

2:22 pm  

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