Rob Martin, Agency Principal and Managing Director of MM2 Public Relations
I recently overheard one of our account teams planning outreach to “long lead” media. It got me thinking: In a world with Twitter, Google News and a 24-hour news cycle, where the story of U.S. Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson can go from iPhone to CNN in a matter of minutes, where lead times seem to be getting shorter and shorter, is the concept of “long lead” media still relevant? And is anyone paying attention?
I think the answer to both questions is “yes.”
The term “long leads” typically refers to magazines, and while there have been some tough times in that industry, I think there’s still a place for those that offer quality and appeal to consumer interests. I subscribe to several magazines at home. And the point is, in addition to the magazines’ long lead times in the production cycle, I have a personal long lead time when I’m reading and enjoying them.
It’s a different type of experience. In contrast to rushing through various news sources in the office to get a sense of the day’s news, magazines are meant to be enjoyed in the comfort of home, when you have more time and the right mindset to think, react, re-read and reference other related and relevant stories elsewhere. It’s sometimes a leisure-time activity that can be enjoyed on the weekend, on an airplane, or on a beach. And the best magazines give you the in-depth content you may not have time to absorb at any other time or in any other place.
For marketers and others with a particular story to tell – or something to sell – they know that consumers may be in a more receptive mood when perusing their favorite magazines. They have more time to think, understand and evaluate. And they may be in the mood to compare and plan purchases. I would say there’s definitely a need for this type of media outlet.
In a short-lead world, it’s comforting to know that long leads are still there for us.