Answering strategic questions
Even as WORLD grows digitally, print plays a crucial role
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At the turn of the 21st century, WORLD’s primary strategic concern was figuring out how to pack as much content as possible into a weekly news magazine, then figuring out how to place that magazine into the hands of the right people.
From a business perspective, those were simpler times. Not easier times, just simpler.
It won’t be surprising to anyone to hear that the practical complexities increase dramatically with additional platforms. When you add websites, then apps, then podcasts, then video programming, then whatever comes next, you need, in order to run them well, to add people with specific technical competencies.
But I started this discussion by mentioning strategic concerns, not merely practical ones. As we develop our plans, here are the kinds of strategic questions we ask: How does the WORLD audience want to consume our content? How will they want it five or 10 years from now? What’s the best platform for delivering particular sorts of stories? What is the investment required to open up new distribution channels?
Questions such as these become even more complicated when we consider multiple media platforms.
That’s a lot of background leading to this: We believe WORLD Magazine, the ink-on-paper product, is important to our future, primarily because so many of you have told us it’s important to you.
It is true that most of WORLD’s growth is on our digital platforms and that most of our content—including magazine content—is developed for those platforms. Still, quite a lot of content is best delivered on paper, and many of us prefer sitting down with a quality magazine instead of scrolling on a screen.
With that in mind, about 18 months ago we began planning to invest additional resources into WORLD Magazine. The strategy itself is a long-term one. A lot of details have changed since we began the planning, but the overall plan is still in place. You already have seen some of the results, even if you haven’t specifically noticed them. Some of the changes still to come will be more conspicuous.
None of this means we will be short-changing our other platforms. As the Lord provides (primarily through the subscriptions, gift subscriptions, and charitable contributions of our WORLD family), we plan to keep up the pace of development of all of our channels, when we determine such development will serve you better.
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