Starcom’s Brenda White on Why the Magazine Industry Needs AAM’s Consolidated Media Report

Brenda White

AAM has always been regarded as the gold standard in print media measurement so I am very excited about its new Consolidated Media Report. It seems like every time I turn around there’s something new in the tablet or mobile landscape. We really need one source to find out what a publishing brand is doing, where they are, what assets they have and how many people are going to those assets. The CMR meets the need for publishers to present a broad range of brand extensions on one report. It tells the unique story of a publishing brand across numerous channels, bringing AAM’s scrutiny and transparency to multimedia reporting.

Starcom has changed our approach to publishing. Last year we introduced our Human Approach to Publishing that includes our new experience planning approach. We are no longer merely putting print plans together or print plans with a few extensions. We are creating multidimensional publishing brand experience plans that include the strategic use of publishing company and client assets. The CMR will save us time when we are putting together publishing experience plans. We will use it as a starting point to understand the breadth and depth of publishing brand. With our new approach we have also developed a new measurement plan. The CMR will be one of our measurement sources. The CMR provides the confidence and transparency needed to incorporate these assets into our plans. Therefore, we are requesting that all publishers participate in the CMR program. I want to see the CMR adopted industrywide. I challenge the smaller publications to get on board as well. This report is not just for the large consumer magazines.

When Popular Science released the first CMR for consumer magazines I was really impressed. We had been talking about the CMR in AAM’s board of directors meetings and had seen various prototypes so it was exciting when the actual report was launched. I have to give PopSci kudos for being the first one out there.

They thought strategically about the type of information to include on the report so it provides a great snapshot of the PopSci brand. Their example is getting a lot buzz in the industry and I hope everyone else jumps on the bandwagon because, as I said earlier, this is something the industry needs and something Starcom is going to request on a consistent basis.

I encourage all publishers to release your first report, but don’t stop there. Continue to evolve it. We want to see similar channel information across publishers such as print, tablet and mobile but work with your agency partners to see what other assets you should be including in your CMR. We all know our industry is evolving every day so make sure your reports are continually updated with your newer assets to reflect the entire experience you are providing to consumers.

I encourage my agency colleagues to talk about the CMR with your publishing partners and get them on board. The CMR is a great place to start when you are thinking about partnering with a publishing brand because it gives a holistic perspective in one glance. The CMR tells the unique story of a publishing brand across numerous channels, bringing AAM’s gold standard to multimedia reporting. It has numbers you can trust and it’s something we can be confident in when we go to clients. The more publishing brands that are on board, the more useful it will be.

Every step of the way, our strength as an industry has been and will continue to be defined by partnership – and I’m very excited at the prospect of the partnerships to come, empowered by CMR. It gives shared language, focus and perspective that we can use to more simply talk about experience and how that experience impacts people. In a world where all media are competing to master experience, let’s all work together to pioneer what’s next.

Brenda White is the senior vice president/director of the publishing activation group at Starcom USA where she is responsible for negotiating and planning for the entire agency’s publishing advertising activities. She delivers on client marketing objectives by collaborating with top publishers to leverage, revive and rediscover the true strengths of publishing. White is also a member of AAM's board of directors.

Hear Starcom's Brenda White talk about AAM's consumer magazine Consolidated Media Report in this video.