This month, I was prepared to write about the Apple Watch, its pros and cons, and how publishers should start to consider it as a platform. But given the delays preventing close to an estimated 2 million purchasers from being able to get their hands on one, including me, I thought I’d focus on something more immediate and hold my thoughts on “the watch” for next month. (Though I just got notice it’s coming tomorrow, moved up from a May 13-27 ship window!)

Interestingly, a number of compelling articles have surfaced about how to approach new content models in publishing, offering some great perspectives on how to compete in the future content world. That seemed an equally appropriate topic to discuss.

Every publisher is struggling to develop the “secret sauce” to what will work for its brand in a landscape where the rules are changing daily.

For example, Google announced this week that it would essentially penalize those sites that do not meet its mobile-friendly standards. If you aren’t sure where you stand, take this test to see how your content site ranks against the new requirements.

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And Google’s expectations are just one of many pivots that publishers must attend to in order for their content to reach the most readers.

So this month I share the Top 5 Shifts That Publishers Can’t Ignore:

1. Publishers need a common platform to be successful.

We’ve all heard this before: accessible, reusable, easily deliverable content is essential. Read how Hearst’s Troy Young, president of digital media, talks about the need for a solid content platform: “If you do not have a platform and data strategy that brings the scale and power of brands together as an organization, scale will only get in the way against pure-play, very focused competitors.”

2. Publishers need to become “content marketers”.

In the third installment of a four-part series, industry colleague Brian O’Leary shares his thoughts on how publishers can have an edge when it comes to content marketing: “Publishers represent an important resource for content marketers who face challenges doing things like producing engaging content, producing content consistently, and producing a variety of content.”

3. Publishers need to consider new partnerships to create success.

LinkedIn is now a publisher—did you miss that? And even more intriguing is its recent acquisition of, a move geared toward matching a wealth of educational content with a community that has great interest in consuming it. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner says, “When I look at’s platform, I see a best-in-class collection of high-quality, premium content,” adding that this partnership offers new opportunities that could never have been recognized by individual companies.

4. Ads still matter as a revenue generator.

Forbes shows off its new integrated ad platform and demonstrates how it is rethinking content since its acquisition last year by Hong Kong investor Integrated Whale Media Investments.

5. But advertising will not save the day. Diversification is important for success.

Hampton Stephens’ article for MediaShift takes a deep look at advertising funded content, and how emerging successes are showing that looking elsewhere for revenue generation is essential to stabilizing publishing success.

Stephens argues, “For companies that truly aspire to produce quality journalism, subscriptions and other direct payments from readers are a better way to gauge what they value deeply and therefore a better way to build such a business.”

Bottom line: Publishers need to stay focused on how to best sustain and leverage the value of their content, thinking in new, out-of-the-box ways about how to best achieve that given their brands and secret sauce. These articles offer some great guidance and food for thought.

Want to challenge your thoughts about transformation? Check out the reads highlighted in TFP’s Book Picks for April.

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.