Media Voices co-host Peter Houston sends out a weekly newsletter called The Magazine Diaries. Each edition shares the best magazine publishing ideas he comes across for you to steal, adapt or reuse. 

Does the magazine world have more than its fair share of BS merchants? There can’t be many of us that have managed to avoid the ‘staff synergies’ conversation, made-up nonsense designed to hide the fact that you’re now doing three people’s jobs.

I actually don’t know if magazine publishing is worse for BS than other industries – I’ve barely worked in any other industries. But if I was a betting man, I’d say we’d be pretty near the top of the bullshitters Premier League. Change is the perfect habitat for truth twisters and we’ve definitely had more than our fair share of change.

But never fear, the scientists are coming to the rescue of humanity with the C.R.A.P. framework for dealing with damaging workplace bullshit. It’s designed to help companies cut back on acronyms and jargon and give people the tools to call out corporate BS.

The framework is outlined in this article from Quartz and there’s even a test you can take to see if you already have a nose for the nonsense.

Work four days a week

That’s a great way to cut out the bullshit at work – just work less!

Some of the world’s most productive countries – Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands – work an average 27 hours a week. That’s the same hours proposed for a UK four-day work week and there has been lots of chat on a media entrepreneurs’ WhatsApp group that I belong to about the pros and cons. So much so, that chat hosts Collingwood organised a roundtable discussion on it all for the members of its Guild group. The roundtables are for members only, but you can find out about the group and ask to join from this link.

Registration walls

It’s been said that I could sell ice to the indigenous peoples of Alaska and other Arctic regions. And yes, I can be persuasive when the need arises… but I’m a bit rubbish at asking for money. If you are too, then maybe a registration wall is the first step in your paid-content journey, a soft-conversion option if you will..

Even if you have no intention of asking people to pay for your stuff (you should) registration is a great way to create stronger audience connections and start collecting valuable first-party data. This piece from subs expert Jack Marshall will tell you exactly why putting up a registration wall is a good idea.

Take a chance on someone

If I can just fan boy for a wee minute, two of my most favourite media people came together – Colin Morrison interviewed Rafat Ali of Skift on Flashes & Flames. The interview is behind F&F’s paywall but the highlight for me is right at the top when Colin asked Rafat what he’d learned from his first jobs.

Rafat highlighted the value of mentors inside a company, people who believe in you and help you along:

Someone always took a chance on me and helped me move forward.

People have taken a chance on me in the past and I only hope they are as happy about it as I am about the people I’ve taken a chance on.

The big idea… be a mentor, help people move forward.


Republished with kind permission. Subscribe to The Magazine Diaries to get three steal-able ideas in your inbox every Friday.

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