Photo of a full session room at MagNet 2017

Learning for Tomorrow

Matthew Holmes
Matthew Holmes

This month, I wanted to write about how our core commitment to professional development at Magazines Canada is moving beyond our traditional learning resources. During the past number of months, we’ve quietly introduced some new initiatives that show great promise: these include a renewed commitment to practical research that is relevant and timely for our members, and an investment in the next generation of our industry—the people, and the new skills and perspectives they can bring.

It’s a busy time in the office with MagNet: Canada’s Magazine Conference right around the corner. Held from April 25–26 in downtown Toronto, it’s a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends, meet new colleagues, and hear about the latest news and innovations in magazine media from a long list of world-class speakers.

As it always has, MagNet’s 2018 edition pulls an incredible range of speakers and topics into two fantastic days of education and quality networking. Back by popular demand, we have the former Chief Digital Officer of New York City and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sree Sreenivasan, providing hands-on practical tech tips and advice on social media.  A powerful panel of writers, editors, and educators speaking on “Meaningful Inclusion: Diversity in Your Editorial Process” will offer sound advice on how to move beyond lip service and introduce structural change that incorporates diverse voices in your day-to-day work. And finally, to a question many of us have asked at one time or another: “Who’s Investing in Magazines?,” we offer a session led by two of Canada’s newest media moguls who will talk about start-ups, investing in media, and new directions for legacy brands.

I mentioned earlier the commitment we’re making to research at Magazines Canada: and two of the latest examples of this will also be ready to share with you at MagNet!

We’re excited to release the findings of our first Canadian B2B Advertising Research, which was conducted over the winter for us by RKI (Research + Knowledge = Insights), thanks to the financial support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. This important research will help better understand the purchase-making process of audiences served by our business media members. Based on a rich sample of C-suite respondents, this session will provide insight on readership (including print, online and both), pathways for reaching decision makers and key influencers of purchase decision, the credibility and trust of our member publications, and how they are used in finding out about new products and services.

On the consumer side of the marketplace, understanding how consumers find, engage with and buy magazines at retail is critical. With the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Magazines Canada brought this challenge to BrandSpark International. Make sure to take in their presentation, “Magazine Resilience: Who’s Buying at Retail?,” for the latest research on the household shoppers’ path-to-purchase, revealing how retailers and publishers can leverage magazines to enhance the overall shopping experience and improve their businesses.

Finally, as our industry continues to adapt and evolve, what we need is not only new information and the latest research, we also need to ensure that we’re attracting quality people with the skills and ideas that will reach the audiences and platforms of tomorrow. Magazines Canada has identified this as a key element in our commitment to professional development. That’s why we conducted a feasibility study last year on a paid magazine internship program, and why we launched a pilot project over the fall and winter. Along similar lines, last year we announced our very fist Magazines Canada Fellowship recipient—to provide an emerging talent with the time and resources to work closely with one magazine to explore the issues of our day and make contributions to our national conversation.

I’m very excited to tell you that we’ll be revealing the recipient of this year’s Magazines Canada Fellowship as well as their selected host magazine at the Inovva Soirée during MagNet on April 25—so I hope you’ll join us to help celebrate these investments in the future of Canadian magazines!