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Swim Against the Tide

Delayed Gratification
  • By Rob Orchard from The Slow Journalism Company
  • 11 May 2013

When we launched our Delayed Gratification magazine in January 2011, everyone was talking about the death of print, and journalists were being forced to work to ever-tighter deadlines in order to get stories out first online and to live-blog unfolding events.

Launching a print-only magazine that prides itself on being ‘Last to Breaking News’ and revisits stories after the dust has settled ran completely contrary to the prevailing industry wisdom. But swimming against the tide has worked out well for us. Here’s how it can help.

It’s a good story

People like the story of an underdog trying to mix things up. Going against the herd gives you a great story to PR, both within your industry and to the rest of the world. We’ve received coverage from some of the biggest online and print titles, driven in large part by our novelty value and the fact that we believe in what we are doing.

It’s a USP

Your potential customers are bombarded with options, so having a USP in the form of swimming against the tide makes you stand out to them. We have really benefited from offering readers something completely different to the media companies they are used to. Making your USP the fact that you are doing the opposite to everyone else also means that you have far less competition than if you were following the mainstream.

It’s all about passionate collaboration

Once you’ve put your flag in the sand you’ll find that scores of people approach you looking to collaborate. People love a strong, contrary idea and they want to be a part of putting it into practice. We have found that many outstanding journalists, designers and illustrators have been keen to work with us (Shepard Fairey even designed our first cover) and that big names have been delighted to be interviewed by a publication that’s doing things differently. And championing the joys of print has resonated surprisingly well in our ever more digital world.

It’s never about fashion

You can’t fall out of fashion if you were never in fashion. As other media companies seek to get faster and faster in delivering the news, we are content to give the final analysis rather than the first, kneejerk reaction. By refusing to play the game, you are released from its rules.

It’s really fun!

There’s something intensely satisfying about swimming against the tide. Who says that the way your industry is heading is the right way? What is being lost as it heads in a new direction? And how much fun will you have showing that stepping out of the mainstream can work wonders for your business?

Rob Orchard is the Editorial Director of Delayed Gratification, a quarterly news journal described as an antidote to throwaway media.

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