Dominick Miserandino, has worked with dozens of publishers and is now CEO of Inquisitr, which serves up a mix of original and aggregate content of currently trending news. Last month, it counted 29 million unique general-audience visitors. Miserandino will be part of a panel discussion at our Publishing Insider Summit in October on how publishers can start to think of themselves as DTC merchandisers. We caught up with him recently.
Q: What are publishers' biggest challenges today?
A: Listen, publishing is a long-term, evolving strategy. My philosophy is that it is going through cycles annually and systematically. We get knocked by the industry's waves all the time and then we're shocked -- shocked -- that there might be a storm. We know there are going to be storms. These momentary crises keep us from looking at the big picture.
Q: What's the best way for publishers to sell their content?
A: From a publishing perspective, they should never be selling, especially with the influx of influencers. Although the industry almost demands a selling perspective, the more a publisher sells, the less authentic they are. A brand like Patagonia, for example, is able to pull it off when they avoid this element. They've learned the trick of not pushing the brand and yet it increases their sales.
Q: It sounds like it's some kind of paradox?
A: It is! People want to influenced but the second that it feels influential, they're off. If news content is being pushed and is not authentic, there'll be revolt in the streets. Paradoxically, this election had issues. People were brilliant at getting a message that appeared to be authentic. So one needs to appear to be authentic. As we've learned, one doesn't have to be. People will share things that feel "truthy."