16 February 2012

Russh X Pedestrian

Start Up Creative Talks - Claire Alstin - Russh Magazine from PEDESTRIAN.TV on Vimeo.

Are you a fan of radness? Well - if I may be so bold - sit the eff down and hold on to your socks, because those rad people over at Pedestrian have teamed up with those rad people at Russh to produce DOUBLE RADNESS.

My good friends over at Pedestrian recently held Start Up, a conference at Macleay College in Sydney, featuring the kinds of speakers whose jobs/ lives (circle as applicable) you would love to have.

Example: fellow Adelaide girl Clare Alstin, the Deputy Ed of Russh Magazine. Yes, Clare has one seriously dreamy job, and in this vid from Start Up, Clare talks about Russh’s editorial model and vision, her own career path, and in-between gives down-to-earth advice and insights into the Russh world.

The always-insightful Lorena and I were just discussing via Twitter the bravery of the latest issue of Russh, which features 3 full blank glossy pages in its ‘Breath of Spring’ editorial. What other mag - Australian or otherwise – can you imagine prioritizing aesthetic value (Lorena calculated that the three pages are worth $19,767 in ad revenue based on their rates) over commercial $$$? Yet it’s a move that is so typically Russh, and I think in the long term actually means more in terms of readership value, and likeliness of readers to engage in a more meaningful way with the magazine.

Which – for me anyway, and I think others are the same – makes me want to pick up and buy a magazine, again and again. I don’t engage with a glossy designer ad I’ve seen 234 times before. I do engage with narrative-driven and brave content.

And isn’t the future of magazines about engagement?

As Clare points out – print magazines are in a stage of “re-evaluation”. As someone who works for, loves, buys and reads mags, I’ve noticed certain qualities that belong to those I personally buy on a regular basis, and those seem to be doing well in what is an increasingly challenging industry:
- Sense of narrative
- Aesthetic integrity
- Distinctiveness
- A true multi-channel approach (rather than online/ apps as an afterthought)
- Niche perspective
- Prioritizing aesthetic over $
- A bit of rebellion.

What would you add to the list?

Check out all the Start Up vids here.
'Breath of Spring' pic from Fashion Gone Rogue.

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