Brands need to be refreshed from time to time. Logos look dated, straplines start to sound tired and mission statements feature the buzzwords of yesteryear.
Print titles need refreshing also. Any longer than five years using the same style and format, and print brands start curling at the edges like day-old buffet sandwiches.
You might well ask, however, why there is even a need for a long-format print publication in this digital age. Publishers everywhere are turning away from print, arguing that the digital space is where most people read content nowadays.
Well, yes – and no.
Arguably, news is the ultimate digital content. Short, punchy, easily digestible – as perishable as it is immediate – it lends itself gladly to consumption via smartphones and dissemination via social media platforms.
Features, however, cry out for a homelier format. You can read them on your tablet or desktop, but how many people can be bothered to scroll down their screen through a chunk of copy that is much more than 500 words in length?
I would suggest that there will always be a need for the features publication. The physical object may change of course. We are not so far from the adoption of graphene-based “electronic paper” which can display digital images on a sheet that can be rolled like a newspaper.
While this might seem closer to an e-reader than a printed magazine, the drive to produce a digital format in sheet form suggests there is a cosy familiarity about holding your reading material in both hands that we haven’t yet given up on.
Look at the continued existence of fashion/lifestyle glossies, gossip mags and Sunday supplements. Yes, all are available in digital formats, but there remains a faithful core readership who still buy printed magazines in the hundreds of thousands.
Features publications are the forum for topics that deserve a more in-depth approach than that afforded by a news story or short analysis/comment piece. They enable journalists to look at the industry in the round, to chart the development of a particular company or market sector, and to deal with historical developments or emerging trends in a more context-heavy and satisfying manner than the snapshot of a news story.
Perhaps most important of all, the features publication is the venue for mainstream topics that might seem less newsworthy in the business-to-business context, but which are nonetheless important in any discussion of the development of the industry.
Our feature on diversity and inclusion in this year’s Spring issue of Insider Quarterly is a case in point. Not a (re)insurance topic per se, but it reflects a discussion that is going on at all levels, in businesses large and small – the need to tap into the wealth of talent and ability inherent in a more diverse workforce.
It’s not just about the zeitgeist though. One of The Insurance Insider’s great strengths in recent years has been the market data it has assiduously compiled on anything from M&A to cyber underwriting.
Insider Quarterly is an obvious forum for the results of these market surveys and, indeed, you will be seeing more of that in print as we translate the data into eye-catching features for future issues.
The renaissance of the (re)insurance industry is already underway, and Insider Quarterly will continue to be there to chart its development!
To read the Winter 2018 issue of IQ, please click here.