Jane Francisco

Event Recap: Magazine Day 2017

The Advertising Club of Toronto hosted their sold-out Magazine Day event earlier this month. By popular demand, Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief Jane Francisco returned to talk about leading a venerable brand through massive transformation in a keynote conversation with St. Joseph Media’s Jacqueline Loch.

We are proud to have co-presented Jane Francisco’s keynote with St. Joseph Media. Here are a few of our highlights from her conversation:


  • Partnerships and collaboration are now essential—with advertisers, suppliers and other publishers. For example, Hearst & Condé Nast are sharing operating resources with PubWorks.
  • In a successful partnership, the emphasis should be on how magazines can deliver the right audience for partners, and act as a spokesperson for brands. Advertisers want content, engagement and connection with their audience.
  • Re: content, you have to know your objectives and goals and have a connection strategy. This can be a big challenge for many organizations, including advertisers.

Measurement and Trust

  • Are digital cutbacks coming? There still isn’t a proven digital formula. Meanwhile, traditional magazines have measurable scale and audience. With new media reporting ROI is difficult.
  • Magazine brands deliver content expertise, engagement and trackable information. A magazine brand is a whole package, and that includes integrity and reputation. Endorsements that come from magazines are much more trusted by consumers.
  • Influencers: that’s what magazine brands deliver. Brand clout. Editors are brand personalities, unmatched re: skills, with huge volume of followers: Good Housekeeping has 20 million measured readers.
  • Good Housekeeping is also 131 years old. Many don’t see “old” as an asset, but it represents a trusted identity. GH was named Hottest Mag of the Year by Adweek last year, and one of the hottest by AdAge.

Industry Disruption and the Future

  • The challenge with agency media planners is to get them to connect personally with your magazine and your brand. Not easy when the target audience is very different.
  • Magazine industry disruption: greater reach and readership, but ad dollars are still declining. There’s a lot of pressure to try new things, and digital media are cheap. But—different audiences, different levels of engagement.
  • Meredith’s acquisition of Time: Meredith has Midwest efficiency and scale, but Time is larger. Hearst may buy some brands. All part of constant change. Francisco notes worries about losing magazines’ robust audience with all of this disruption.
  • Future of print: a luxury item? Yes, for some magazines. Francisco doesn’t believe that all current magazine brands are sustainable. Digital formats offer volume and velocity of content. Print format is well suited to presenting selective, curated content—a “best of” collection, or targeted to enthusiasts.
  • For Canadian magazines, scale is important. Multi-title publishers need to provide the greatest support to their strongest brands. The current climate is very hard when a publisher competes with itself via multiple titles.
  • Magazines can provide amazing audiences. Clients and advertisers as partners is the only way to survive. Magazines must take the chance to be relevant.

Jane Francisco is the Editor-in-Chief of Good Housekeeping and Editorial Director of the Hearst Lifestyle Group, which includes Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Woman’s Day and Dr. Oz The Good Life. Under her leadership, Good Housekeeping was named to Adweek’s Hot List as the Hottest Women’s Magazine in 2016 and one of Advertising Age’s Hottest Magazines of the Year for 2016. Good Housekeeping now inspires a cross-platform audience of over 30 million women. Previously, Francisco was Editor-in-Chief of Chatelaine.

Interested in hearing more about Jane’s magazine career? In addition to her well-received talk at Magazine Day, Jane was also the MagNet Marquee speaker at our 2017 national magazine conference.

Magazine Day 2017 was produced by the Advertising Club of Toronto and held on December 1 in Toronto at the Four Seasons Hotel. It was a sold-out event with 180 people in attendance, from both agencies and magazines. Magazine Day is focused towards agency planners and buyers, as well as magazine sales reps, publishers and editorial teams.

The Ad Club of Toronto also announced this year’s Merit Award recipient at Magazine Day—Mitch Dent! Dent has been a passionate publisher and promoter of the Canadian magazine industry for more than 25 years. His career in media was built on a solid foundation in the magazine industry, which began in 1990 at Today’s Parent Group acting as Publisher and eventually President. Working with the team on Richmond St., he was a key partner in the explosive growth of Today’s Parent culminating in the sale of the brand to Rogers in the late 1990s, where Mitch eventually graduated to SVP Sales for Rogers Magazines. In his current role as Senior Vice President of Media Sales at Blue Ant Media, Mitch oversees ad sales for the company’s eight multi-platform passion brands as well as the company’s brand studio. Blue Ant Plus, which specializes in custom content creation and social media management for marketers and agencies.

The Advertising Club of Toronto is a not-for-profit organization that serves the advertising industry and all its related services, including media, creative, production, advertising and marketing. The AdClub’s mandate is to raise and distribute charitable funds by organizing events that present the newest ideas and developments in the advertising industry and create social and business networking opportunities for ad industry colleagues. Visit adclub.ca.

For more information, please contact Tim Hughes at tim@cairnsoneil.com.


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