On his darkest days, one of my art director buddies refers to “the great wheel of pain that is publishing”. More often than not, my friend – let’s call him Eeyore – has just had his creative wings clipped with “We don’t have the budget” scissors.
As the content marketing industry explodes, as posts win out against prose, as the written word goes to the lowest bidder, and revenue just doesn’t know what platform to party on, most content teams are having to manage on skinnier budgets.
Allocating budget to the key stories and galleries inevitably means filling in the gaps with thrifty initiative. OK, free content. We’ve always done it, but now more so than ever before. And what happens when something falls through at the eleventh hour?
Q&As can yield surprising treasures (as well as those banal tossed-off answers that you know involved twisting someone’s arm). When editing Qantas The Australian Way, overtures to various creatives to nominate favourite destinations or travel anecdotes sometimes produced responses that were good enough to run as features in their own right - an eloquent essay on India from William Dalrymple, insights into the design process from Paloma Picasso, amusing tales from Vikram Seth, and explorer Tim Jarvis’s most unforgettable adventures.
With time to spare on a flight to Australia for the Vivid festival recently, Ferrari’s senior vice president of design, Flavio Manzoni, took time to reflect on the “metalanguage” of auto design, extrapolating a Q&A into a flashy feature for Crown Resorts’ new Crystal magazine. In other words, you can get lucky.
We asked Bauer’s magazine and online editors to share some other ways they make ends meet, allowing them to leave the biggest slice of the budget pie for the hero pieces that best convey their “voice”.