Skip to main content

FLIBS 2011: What’s the future of marine media?

FORT LAUDERDALE — What does today's boating consumer want in a magazine, and are the industry's publications meeting those needs?

Those were the issues discussed at a joint session of the Marine Marketers of America and Boating Writers International at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Panelists included Andrew Clurman, president and chief operating officer of Active Interest Media, which includes Soundings Trade Only; Jim Rhodes, president of Rhodes Communications; Tim Cole, executive vice president of Belvoir Publications; and Zuzana Prochazka, president of BWI. The panel was moderated by Michael Sciulla.

The Internet has no doubt changed the way people receive and consume information, Sciulla noted, but does that mean they no longer want a print magazine?

With online readership surpassing print readership in many cases, “it’s clearly time to adapt,” he said.

However, Cole noted, readers today want print in addition to digital, access to archives, updated websites, interesting videos and more.

“They want it all and they want it now and they want it free,” he said.

He urged writers and editors to remember that we’re in the information business and, no matter how it’s delivered, readers want reliable information.

“They can tell good information from bad information,” Clurman said, adding that although it may be confusing to figure out the best format from which to deliver news, “it’s not in decline.”

Prochazka, a freelancer who also runs her own website where she writes reviews, said it’s important to deliver fair and balanced information. Readers can tell if a writer is catering to an advertiser when talking about a new product.

Clurman agreed, “Good content begets engaged readers.” Content can’t be solely driven by advertisers.

“I think readers can spot advertorial when they see it,” noted Rhodes, adding that a magazine could lose a reader’s loyalty if it is perceived as “selling” its editorial pages to advertisers.

Prochazka said that on her site she makes clear the difference between ads and editorial.

“Transparency builds integrity,” she said.

In addition to the panel discussion, the MMA presented its annual Neptune Award winners.

Click here for the full list of winners.

— Beth Rosenberg

Related

1_PULSE1

Inflation Stymies Boat Sales

Inventories of new and used boats are improving at the retail level but are still considered comparatively lean, according to the results of the monthly Pulse Report survey.

Norm

Ho, Ho, Ho, You Better Watch Out

It may be too early to decorate the showroom, but it’s not too early to hatch a marketing plan to profit from the holiday selling season.

IBEX

Industry reacts to IBEX cancelation

With Ian expected to hit Florida’s west coast as a major hurricane, the consensus among those who spoke with Trade Only Today say it was the correct decision.

1_ABYCELECTRIFICATION

Ready for a Revolution

Electrification has been an increasingly common buzzword in the marine industry, especially in the past four to five years.

1_MARINEMAX.BOD

MarineMax Makes Appointment to its Board

Mercedes Romero has expertise in global procurement and strategic planning, working with such companies as Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.

1_ PULSE.PING.1

DEALERS: Are Interest Rates Impacting Demand?

This month’s Pulse Report survey asks dealers whether interest rate increases are causing a downturn in boat sales. Take the survey here.

1_SPOTZERO

Spot Zero Announces Expansion

The Fort Lauderdale-based reverse osmosis systems manufacturer is adding a 20,000-square-foot production facility.

1_Seakeeper Ride 450_2023 Sportsman Open 232 Center Console

Seakeeper’s New System Targets Pitch

Seakeepeer, whose gyroscopic stabilizers set the marine industry standard for eliminating as much as 95 percent of a boat’s roll, is now turning its attention to eliminating pitch with their Seakeeper Ride system.

7_IMG_0254

Propeller Precision

Yamaha’s new $20 million foundry produces about 100,000 propellers a year