Metro Parent Publications

Alyssa Martina discusses her twelve month goals for Metro Parent.

In this four minute segment (download iPod compatible, 22MB), Alyssa Martina outlines her twelve month goals for Metro Parent. Overall, she wants to maintain Metro Parent's passionate focus on high quality connectivity with its market. Within this constraint, she's open to entering new markets and wants to do projects she has not thought of today. One particularly intriguing area is the Internet, and she is wondering if she cannot expand her markets beyond the Detroit area.

Metro Parent maintains multiple points of contact with its audience. Alyssa Martina describes the different businesses she has built around each.

In this 7 and a half minute segment (download iPod compatible, 40MB), Alyssa Martina, CEO of Metro Parent, describes the multiple points of contact she maintains with her audience and the business models she has built around them. Metro Parent is involved in print publication, web based social media (e.g., blogging), and events. The print publications and web activities derive their revenue from advertising. Events might charge for admission and/ or seek sponsorship. Sponsoring companies feel that Metro Parent really delivers on the audience they are seeking.

Alyssa feels Metro Parent has understood the print publication and events markets well. They know who their market is and have the stats to track them. The web is less clear. Is Metro Parent reaching just the Detroit area, or is the reach more national?

Alyssa Martina allows users on Metro Parent to have their own blogs so that they can build connections. Her goal is to get beyond passive, anonymous interaction.

In this 13 minute segment (download iPod compatible, 67MB), Alyssa Martina describes how she uses the web to connect with Metro Parent's readers. She has always felt that she could not rely on print to make the full connection. She has used a whole array of events to make the connection interactive, and she views the web as providing a whole new level of interactivity. On Metro Parent's site, readers can create their own blogs and connect with each other.

Until August 2007, Alyssa had not implemented an extensive web site for Metro Parent. She did not consider reproducing the print publication online, as many outlets such as the New York Times, were doing viable. Online revenues are currently just not sufficient to cover the cost of producing the content. However, she believes that if she treats the web as a synergistic channel that creates better connection with and between her readers, the value proposition is potentially very attractive.

Alyssa Martina discusses Metro Parent's revenue model which like almost all periodicals is based entirely on advertising. However, the free distribution model is different from many periodicals and actually lowers her cost of distribution by avoiding the retail shelves and mailing. The free distribution model is audited to ensure advertisers they are reaching the right target audience in the right numbers.

In this 9 minute segment (download iPod compatible, 47MB), Alyssa Martina discusses Metro Parent's revenue and distribution models. Like almost all periodicals, Metro Parent's revenue model is based on advertising. Advertisers are concerned with two things: (1) How many people you distribute to; and (2) Who those people are. News stand sales and subscriptions are actually loss leaders in the industry and mainly serve to help tabulate the two items advertisers are interested in.

At Metro Parent's inception, Alyssa determined that it could not afford the loss leader strategy required for traditional distribution channels, so she opted to go with the free-controlled distribution approach pioneered by alternative magazines (e.g., The Boston Phoenix). She places her magazines where parents are most likely to congregate, quality supermarkets and libraries. An independent agency monitors both the number of magazines distributed and where they are placed (BPA Worldwide is one such agency).

It's interesting to contrast the different distribution strategies announced by this site's participants in the publishing industry. Alyssa depends on physical placement so that her shoppers just pick the magazine up. Lou Rosenfeld, discerning that his audience is among the most digitally capable, relies on electronic word of mouth. His revenue model depends on selling packaged information in the form of books while Alyssa's depends on verified delivery of advertising messages. In future segments, we will examine how Alyssa is moving into the world of digital media.

Older Entries

Alyssa Martina: Quality Editorial & Interaction
In this 12 minute segment, Alyssa Martina tells us how she started Metro Parent 21 years ago, and the challenges she faced. A theme that emerges is her dedication to producing high quality editorial content and interacting with her readers to stay close to them.

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