For every print publication bemoaning their fate, there are countless other brands relying on smart, savvy, efficient people and operations to keep turning out successful, high-quality magazines against digital odds. Jay Royle’s Midwest Golfing Magazine is one of those. Here’s his story.
Gregg: In two sentences, give us the elevator version of Midwest Golfing Magazine and the niche it fills.
Jay: Midwest Golfing Magazine is one of the top magazines in the Midwest with high quality and in-depth articles. This wonderful publication contains informative, educational and entertaining golf coverage from around the Midwest and beyond.
Gregg: How long has it been in business?
Jay: We just finished up our 15th year.
Gregg: What was your businesses/career before you started Midwest Golfing Magazine?
Jay: Royle Printing was a family owned commercial printing business that was started over 40 years ago. I worked in all facets of the business and for the last two years before the company was sold, I was managing the Customer Service and Production Planning departments.
Gregg: So you’re working for the family printing business, where did the spark come from for the magazine and, more specifically, why golf?
Jay: We were already in the publishing business with the Green Bay Packer Report and the Chicago Bear Report. These entities were not part of the sale and of which my brother and I continued to run. The spark was both of us being life long golfers and adding a publication to our portfolio. Work at something you love and we loved golf.
Gregg: When you look back, what was the hardest part about starting up a publication like this?
Jay: Takes time, in terms of years, to become established, get in the conversation, etc.
Gregg: Is there one thing you did either once or consistently over the years that you feel led to your success?
Jay: Absolutely and that one thing is hiring the right person. Kevin Packard Jr. is as integral to the success as anything.
Gregg: I’ve heard that before – hiring the right person can make or break success – talk a little more about why Kevin was so important and what he contributed over the years?
Jay: On top of his work ethic with sales, he has always had valuable input on how we can grow Midwest Golfing Magazine.
Gregg: On that note, any thoughts on why print is not dead and you’ve been able to grow your magazine despite the critics’ constant assurances it is?
Jay: Well there will always be critics right, but common sense tells you it’s alive and well. By that I mean, next time you’re at the grocery story, take a peek at the magazine rack. Print sure doesn’t look dead there.
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