On the Road Again

Ever feel stuck in a rut? Lacking in creativity and innovation?

It’s so easy to come to work, stare at our computers, and execute the same tasks day after day while losing sight of the bigger picture. Our work can become boring and lifeless – for us and our clients.

That’s why I’m a big advocate for getting out of the office to learn and brainstorm with my teammates. My most recent opportunity was a road trip to Minneapolis with our editorial team to attend the City and Regional Magazine Association’s annual conference.

More than 350 magazine professionals from around the country gathered in the Renaissance Hotel on Third Street to learn from and encourage each other in our craft.

The highlights included hearing from Bob Love, editor in chief of AARP magazine, David Stillman, author and expert on bridging the gap between generations, and David Granger and David Curcurito, former partners in crime at Esquire magazine. 

Did you know AARP has more than 38.6 million readers? They are a lesson in intentionality. According to Bob, mission is their superpower. They are the industry leader in audience segregation, publishing three unique magazines, each targeted toward a different decade of reader. They also stay faithful to reader engagement, ensuring content is focused on their three main priorities – health, wealth, and self.  

Did you know that Generation Z will comprise 40% of all consumers by 2020? According to David Stillman, this generation is a misunderstood group and very different than their millennial counterparts. Born between 1995 and 2012, Gen Z grew up during the recession, has a “Hunger Games” mindset, is competitive with their peers, and is incredibly price-conscious. They are digital natives, our future employees, and unlike their millennial friends, only 8% prefer an open-concept workspace.

What’s the craziest, most creative thing you’ve tried recently? Two former members of Esquire’s editorial team shared example after example of crazy stuff they tried looking for new ways to tell a story. From hand lettering a cover to sending an amateur photographer across the country, they were never afraid to think outside the box. Their talk was a lesson in what can come from letting your wordsmiths and visual artists play.

As for the rest of my takeaways, well they’re staying with me. I can’t give away all my secrets!