New Online Course: How to Fend Off Competitive Attacks on Editorial Quality
Welcome to Competitive Analysis 101: An exclusive, in-depth course designed to help you repel competitive attacks on your editorial package. Having a well-designed program to quantify your editorial prowess is the key to a solid defense. But your information-gathering process must be thorough. For example, competitive-analysis reports for at-show issues should cover 61 factors. Add another 13 for post-show assessments. Detailed separate reports measuring editorial quality require 25 factors. A comprehensive graphics focus justifies at least an 18-point review.
So yes—competitive analysis consistency is no cinch. That is undoubtedly why Editorial Solutions Inc. (ESI) has found many firms ill-prepared to weather a competitive analysis attack. Why? Some publishers claim they lack sufficient staff to do effective competitive analysis. Others maintain that quantitative editorial superiority claims are difficult to explain effectively during advertising presentations.
No matter whether such difficulties are real or imaginary, you and your content are vulnerable. For many of you, it’s time to take action. This series will help bring you up to speed on effective procedures covering print and online news. Here’s a sample of what’s in store:
1: Measuring Editorial Enterprise. Preparing competitive analysis reports typically requires plenty of counting. The standard goal of such projects is to document such competitive differentiators as who can claim quantitative leadership in the number of editorial pages or in content devoted to specific product categories. As useful as those reports may be, perhaps we should consider a new instructive factor to measure: editorial enterprise.
2: Is Your Content Really Better Than Theirs? As business conditions have tightened, many publishers have begun to track their competitive performance on a category-by-category basis. In the process, some have learned that owning traditional page count leadership may not be enough.
3: Eight-Factor Test of Editing Skill. A newly revised online news scoring system from Editorial Solution Inc. will definitely test your editing skills. This competitive analysis system concentrates on eight key editorial factors most likely to trip up writers and editors of online publications. ESI will be applying this system in all online projects.
4: 25 Qualitative Factors for Comparison. The system described in this article emerged shortly after I launched Editorial Solutions Inc. in 1989. A B2B publisher with multiple titles asked me to prepare a two-day, in-house editorial workshop. One of the longer sessions (90 minutes) was to focus on competitive analysis. Part of the challenge was to create an objective scoring system that would show why one magazine’s editorial content was superior to another’s. To more accurately pinpoint publication strengths and weaknesses, I created a 40-factor scoring system, involving 15 quantitative and 25 qualitative factors, that could realistically be applied during editorial match-ups.
Additional installments will be provided based on reaction as we proceed, so be sure to share your comments!