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Press&Publishing » Trends | 12/17/2014

The importance of corporate publishing continues to increase

 

Asendia talks to Dr Andreas Siefke, Chairman of Forum Corporate Publishing, about the importance of content and the role of addresses and distribution.

Asendia: How important is corporate publishing in the communication mix?

Dr Andreas Siefke: Corporate publishing plays a very considerable role in customer retention and noticeably in acquiring new customers as well. As content becomes increasingly important, its significance will continue to increase. Corporate publishing offers use value and entertainment, filling customers with enthusiasm about the company, brand or product through genuine stories. At the same time, it uses journalistic tools and skills, which makes it more credible than classic advertising. Corporate publishing has been an essential component in the communication mix for some time now.

You have mentioned the benefits. What dangers lie in wait?

Don’t underestimate the reader. Communicate honestly, don’t invent stories and always ensure that you are clearly recognisable as the sender. Customers will not forgive you for anything else.

What businesses is corporate publishing suitable for?

All sectors – whether B2C or B2B – can benefit, both for internal and external communication. Smaller companies should not be put off by the presentations from large groups. There are suitable solutions available for any budget.

Linking physical and digital media makes it easier to collect data.

What should companies with an international presence be aware of?

Every country has specific cultural characteristics that should be taken into account. International corporate publishing products are usually realised with the assistance of experienced service providers for that reason. Larger agencies and publishing companies have global connections and process international mandates in cooperation with freelancers on location or with partner agencies in the respective countries.

What options are available for distribution?

In the print domain, distribution to customers by post remains central. But there are many other distribution options available. The choice ultimately depends on the product, the sender and the objective. High-quality magazines on subjects such as cars, watches or finance are frequently placed in sophisticated hotels, airline lounges or cruise ships. Books by fashionable brands such as MINI can be found in coffee shops with integrated book stores. Generally speaking, distribution at trade fairs and events is of huge interest, particularly for smaller companies. You’ve also got the full range of online channels: from websites and microsites to electronic newsletters, apps and social media. There have never been as many options for getting in touch with customers and thus for generating addresses.

Speaking of addresses, how important is it to maintain and update addresses and why should you collect data?

Addresses are a valuable commodity, which means that they must always be correct and up to date. This is the only way to get communication right and to avoid duplicates. You should set great store by address management and data protection. Linking physical and digital media makes it easier to collect data, and companies now do it much more consistently than they used to. Other topics on the agenda at present are big data and targeting.

Are there any other trends in evidence?

In the digital sphere, app mania is continuing to level off. By contrast, responsive design and mobile content are becoming increasingly important. The integration of social media remains a theme. With regard to print, the trend is for large-scale images and clear layouts. Business reports are also functioning increasingly as customer magazines. In general, it can be said that quality is increasing.

  

About Dr Andreas Siefke
Personal information Dr Andreas Siefke is responsible for the area consumer/content marketing as Managing Director of the media agency KircherBurkhardt. He is Chairman of the Forum Corporate Publishing (FCP) association as well as a board member at Media Forum Europe (MFE). He is part of the Lead Awards jury.