Guest Newsletter – Nathan White

Once a month we invite our member magazine publishers and enthusiasts to guest-edit our fortnightly email newsletter. The aim is to inspire others with magazine-related content, connect members and build our community so we can learn from each other.

This month our guest editor is Nathan White, Board Director at Think ALT. You can follow Nathan on LinkedIn – remember to connect and say hello!

David White standing on street at night.

Tell us about yourself

Hello! I am Nathan White and have worked in the world of media planning and buying for the past 10 years and worked with the wonderful and excitingly eclectic world of magazines over that period.

As a 30 something I can still recall getting a demo for the next big game attached to a magazine or learning about far flung football culture which would be alien to a young west of Scotland child without the beauty and wonder of magazines.

Through my professional career I now have a detailed understanding of the exceptionally powerful role magazines play in reaching audiences at any scale and of any interest.

Graphic of hands reaching in holding puzzle pieces and various objects like a lightbulb, a clock, and a cog.
Illustration by Doval with thanks to Ikon Images. Like what you see? 
Members receive their first 5 Ikon Images illustration uses for £50 each

What are you up to at the moment?

I’m currently investing and collecting at an unsustainable rate both financially and space wise in print publications little and large and in languages I am not fluent in. Apart from when I am doing that, I am fervently championing the power and role print can play for brands in the media buying world in the UK.

Image of an Italian newspaper, titled La Settimana Enigmistica', with columns, a crossword, and a man's portrait on the cover.

What’s the best article you’ve
read this month?

There were lots of contenders but I found this one the most stirring. Short, sweet and visually powerful – a reminder for me of the wonders of being present everyday, feeling alive and seeking happiness, contentment is based on individual self and how wonderful the life of those who choose the alternative can look.

Portrait of a bohemian looking man with a rucksack, open shirt, and long hair and beard.

Show us an incredible magazine cover

It’s not only the powerful use of text in space which is typically used for visual delivery but for me this sums up the role of magazines in our lives. The ability to provoke thought and disrupt visually and be the springboard to wider conversations beyond its main canvas of print. 

The use of humour in the red strap alongside such a horrific story does affirm that very few publications hold such a strong position in UK culture that it can combine the two and work seamlessly together. That is the power of magazines and magazine brands.

Bold front cover of Private Eye, with a large warning sign and headline which reads, 'This magazine may contain some criticism of the Israeli government and may suggest killing everyone in Gaza as revenge for Hamas atrocities may not be a good long-term solution to the problems of the region.'

What’s your top tip for publishers?

It is important for publishers and sales reps of titles that are supported by advertising to engage with younger media professionals across our industry. What is their connection to your brand and publication? Working in this environment, I can see that lack of connection at times some have with magazines over social media brands, for example.

This goes to the heart of what people in my profession face. When budgets are stretched in uncertain economic times, the battle to appear on media schedules and plans becomes even more competitive. Magazines can play such a powerful, unique role in brand positioning and delivery of messaging, that it is imperative to continue to remind and engage with professionals who don’t have the same connection with the medium. 

This would lead onto my second point looking similarly to the issues of protecting stretched advertising investment – how can you replicate the beautiful physical experience online too? This can unearth a whole new audience for magazines and be a great extension of investment in print.

A good example for me from a media buying and consumer point of view would be Crack Magazine who not only have physical free distribution of the magazine but an amazing and vibrant site experience online with it’s beautiful layout, great content extended in video or audio. This allows for support to be extended not only by brands but by a wider community of fans via the shop or being a Crack supporter, which allows you to get much more from the publication on a more frequent basis than it’s monthly print run.

So in short my two tips:

  • If you are reliant on ad revenue, do really engage with media agencies and younger media planners and buyers to really hit home the power of magazines
  • Think about the online extension of your publication, it can extend revenue and reach for all that amazing content you have
Side profile portrait of a man wearing sunglasses and headphones, taken from Crack magazine website.

Questions for the community

What subject or issue would you like the International Magazine Centre Members Group to discuss and untangle over on LinkedIn?

My question is: Can magazines learn anything from the Vinyl revival?

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