Magazines no longer magazines

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This year's DMA Circulation Day conference slowly backed away from the troubles of the print industry by basically declaring it wasn't part of the print industry. The conference, themed, "Advancing Your Game Plan in Challenging Times," focused on building media, not print, brands, giving plenty of focus to online and mobile strategies.

Keynote speaker Johnny McIntosh, president of Southern Living At Home, the direct-selling division of Southern Progress Corporation, set the tone with his morning speech, "Your Magazine Brand As An Umbrella."

"Remember, it's really the brand that marketers are selling, more than magazines," he said, adding that circ marketers had explore multiple media and use any way they could to reach consumers in these challenging economic times.

His example from Southern Living was the brand's at-home party division, which works like Tupperware parties, only attendees go home with recipe books and magazine subscriptions instead of, well, Tupperware. The parties, he reported, introduced the brand to a new demographic and sell thousands of subs a year. Most of all, he noted, they help highlight what's unique about the Southern Living brand -- a key strategy for any publisher looking to push its brand forward.

McIntosh ended on an odd note, mentioning , without prompting, parent company Time Inc.'s planned divestiture of Southern Living at Home. In the optimistic, brand-happy theme of the speech, though, he added, "I think the name and brand will live on."

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