- Published on Monday, 28 January 2013 19:11
- Written by Rick Stratton
Over the past three years, like many small businesses, we have struggled to reinvent ourselves in the new economy and facing the economic realities of the Great Recession. I could easily see the decline of print. Newspapers and magazines were going out of business in droves as advertisers chose digital over print or simply doing nothing because they feared that their customer was not interested in doing business with them anyway. In other words – don’t go fishing, when there are fewer fish…
Like most magazines or newspapers, we could see that going digital was our future but were unsure of how to get there, or really what “there” really was. We literally had to go to the mattresses and figure it all out from there. So, we rebuilt the entire magazine from the grown up – focusing on our core values and our mission – it was there all along, .. we Inform, Educate and Inspire divers to be more active in the sport of diving, by promoting local diving and a local diving community. Wow, who would have thought that it was that complicated? But it was confusing – for a while. Once we realized that regardless of print or digital, our mission was the same, then, the way forward began to emerge. The thing that we promote, also makes us special – we are divers who love diving.. how we do it, is secondary.
Along the way, we also figured out a few things about the Internet, magazine and our future. Magazines are changing. They are becoming media centers that provide a mix of content. Printed magazines are becoming fewer but there are many online versions launching too. We are going with the flow, and going 100% digital – but don’t worry we will still print the magazine too. You can get the magazine on your Ipad, tablet, PC or mobile devise – or even print – whatever you are willing to pay for…
In a way, Apps saved our ass. Over the past three years, apps became more main stream, including the process of paying for them. People got over their initial fears of the system and began to realize that in order to get a better App, they needed to pay a few bucks. They realized they could get a free crappy app or a trial version but if they wanted the real thing – then support these creative and hardworking developers by purchasing the APP, inspiring future versions, improvements and upgrades. By shelling out a few bucks, they are supporting the businesses that give them the goods and services that they value.
We have made a commitment to support the businesses that we value too. As long as divers want to go diving locally, we need to support our local dive shops and give them the first shot at our business; whatever you need, from a new regulator to dive training. We want you to go diving, go to a dive club meeting, BBQ or shop dive. Get out there and go diving. We encourage you to visit your local dive shop. While you are there, pick up a free copy of our magazine. They are not free. The shop buys them from us to give them to you – providing an incentive to visit the store more often. This is a great win-win-win.
We have reinvented ourselves and now have a completely digital magazine but our mission is still the same. You can read it anywhere, anytime, and anyway you want it.
Happy reading and happy diving!