COMMENT 

Every cloud has a silver lining

The world has turned upside down. No one can remember anything like the situation we now face. But, as ever, there is a positive side…

By James Evelegh

Every cloud has a silver lining
Photograph: Simone Viani on Unsplash

Rahm Emanuel, Obama's first chief of staff, once said: "You never let a serious crisis go to waste … it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

We are living through the most serious crisis since WW2. Is there any silver lining for publishers? Any opportunity that we can turn to our long term advantage?

Yes! This is our chance to:

  1. Road-test remote working at scale. People have been talking about working from home for years; now we are having to do it in large numbers. Get this right and it could dramatically reshape publishing, in a positive way.
  2. Promote subs: The population is stuck at home, with time on their hands; now is our opportunity to promote subscriptions or free trial access to our wonderful content.
  3. Experiment with new formats: e-learning, virtual meetings, new and as yet unthought of formats are all ripe for experimentation.
  4. Tap into the self-improvement market: people are at home and anxious about the future. Give them ways in which they can turn this crisis to their own advantage by improving their skills or taking up a new hobby.
  5. Cement our position as a trusted resource: people need reliable information. This is our opportunity to put even greater distance between our trusted journalism and the rubbish on social media.
  6. Unleash creativity in new and unpredictable ways. We are always more creative in straightened times, as we apply ourselves to finding new and innovative solutions. Who knows what opportunities this crisis might throw up if we are determined, open-minded and resourceful.
  7. Come back stronger. Be bold, don’t be cowed. Don’t shut up shop; use this time to talk to each other and our partners in the supply chain to work out how we can together come through this stronger.

Good luck and stay safe!

This article was first published in the InPubWeekly enewsletter. If you would like to be added to the free mailing list, please register here.