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Magazines need to better leverage content to adapt to changing environment

Yan Chen ()

We spoke to FIPP Rising Star Finalist Yan Chen about how her experience equipped her with knowledge about online advertising technology, data analysis of various digital channels and digital user-behaviour insights. 

She then joined Hearst China to explore how traditional media like magazines can leverage its strength and adapt to the changes in a digital era by providing digital data analysis and product strategy. With a better understanding of the production of high quality content and application of various media, she began working on a new project ELLEfit initiated by ELLE, which targets to build a sporty lifestyle community by creating premium content, providing selected events and connecting people who share same interests and value online and offline. It is this project that made her one of FIPP’s Rising Stars in Media Finalists and moved her into the role of Senior Project Manager, ELLEFIT, Hearst Magazines, China.

FIPP asked Yan about her views of the industry and what making it on to FIPP’s 2016 Rising Star in Media list means to her:

What excites you about working in the magazine media industry right now?

The most exciting part of working in the magazine media industry is always about working with a group of professional content creators and providing content of high quality. And as the development of internet and technology has changed the ways readers consume information. It is even more exciting to see how ELLE as a magazine media adapts to the changes in terms of content distribution channels and readers’ media touch points from online to offline. ELLE continuously leads the trend of fashion by creating professional contents and developing products from magazine to website, APP, video, community, SNS and so on. And the process of embracing and trying out all kinds of possibilities itself is fascinating.

What is your view on the future of the industry?

I believe the development of internet and technology will continuously change the ways people consume information. Every individual can be a key opinion leader and content creator on social platform nowadays. The authority of magazine media has been challenged. Every device will be a media channel by connecting to the internet, which can provide selected content based on the needs of individuals. Consumers’ expectations toward media are in higher demand accordingly. They want to access to contents from as many channels as possible. Meanwhile their needs of high quality content and better content management are increasing due to information overload. This requires magazine media to better leverage its content and adapt to the changes of media channels. The development of the media industry can be seen as a process of creating a better balance of channel, content and consumer. 

What exciting changes do you think we will see happen/should happen in the near future?

Speaking of exciting changes in the near future, I think there are three things to be highlighted. Firstly, given better development of mobile device and wi-fi connection, live mobile video will become an increasingly popular way of creating and experiencing content. Take, ELLE’s live mobile video of fashion week for example, it has aroused tremendous attention from users in the mobile world. It presents the exclusive fashion week shows to the mass audience by using live video on mobile phone. More importantly, audiences can have real time interaction via live mobile video and feel better connected with others. Secondly, virtual reality is also creating more scenarios for consuming different content. It not only helps audiences experience content like fashion shows despite time and space limitations – but also people can also collaborate with others through virtual reality and create content in a transformative way. Thirdly, people will be gathered by interest and feel connected as a community. More dedicated and vertical content serving specific interest groups will be created and valued.

What you think of FIPP's Rising Star in Media initiative?

The Rising Stars in Media initiative is of high importance and will bring profound influence in media industry. Changes in both technology and media are taking place at a high speed. The recognition of young talent, who can bring new ideas and innovations in their organisations, is crucial to help the media industry and they can better adapt to the changes and transformations. Moreover, a lot of young talent is already making changes in media industries and the recognition of their contributions will inspire and encourage more young talent to join them. Last but not least, the list of Rising Star in Media brings young talent from all around the world to share their ideas and projects. This platform can help young talent to learn and grow faster and make better contributions to the industry together.  

What has it meant to make FIPP’s Rising Star in Media 2016 list?

FIPP’s Rising Stars in Media 2016 list means a lot to me. I always wanted to be a change-maker and I was very lucky to have the opportunity to bring my idea into action at ELLE China. The FIPP initiative not only brings external awareness of our new project but also fills me with more confidence in making changes proactively. It will continuously empower me to exceed my limits and fix problems with courage. Age and position should not limit one’s development and contribution. Moreover, I am inspired to see the projects and changes made by other candidates from all over the world. The FIPP Rising Star in Media List better connects me to fellows working in media industry and inspires me to continuously learn from others. 

FIPP created the Rising Stars in Media Awards in partnership with UPM and will be running it again in autumn 2017 alongside the FIPP World Congress. If you would like to be kept informed about next year’s process, email Christine Huntingford.

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