Buying Coverage - Rising TrendBy John Honovich, Published on Aug 22, 2010
Buying coverage in trade magazine and industry websites is a rising trend that will impact information and marketing wtihin many industries, including security.
A good survey of this trend is provided by FolioMag, one of the most popular sites covering the magazine market, on how "marketing services" are replacing editorial reporting. Summing it up, the survey notes, "Editors increasingly will be expected to not just write about that category but provide content or at least market expertise for specific clients."
We have been seeing this recently with even more conservative security publications such as SIW running Q&A articles [link no longer available] as part of their paid webcasts and writing articles featuring sponsors [link no longer available] of their trade conference.
With declines in print readership and competition on the web for advertising dollars, industry magazines/sites will likely have to increase production of promotional content for their advertisers.
We recently had a debate with SSN's editor on the alarming number of editors who leave to become PR people (e.g., Exlipse Media and Compass Media [link no longer available]) and double their salary. Ironically and to this point, FolioMag sees this trend as beneficial: "And as management sees edit shift from cost center to revenue producer, who knows--maybe it means a bump in pay too."
While this may be good news for 'editors', it is troublesome for the community seeking independent, objective information.