MIN 2011 Best of the Web Nomination

A program I helped build for Men’s Fitness was nominated for a MIN Best of the Web Advertiser Program/Partnership Award

April 7, 2011: Wow, look at this place. The Grand Hyatt at Grand Central in NYC. What the hell is a guy like me doing here? I dressed to impress. Sports jacket, dress shirt, jeans. Of course, I’d do myself a disservice if any of it even remotely matched in color or style.

It’s a good thing I’m here for my web-production skills and not my fashion sense. A custom content web program I helped build was nominated for a MIN Best of the Web Award.

In early 2010, a small but plucky web team — editor Devin Pratt, salesman Paul South, and producer me — changed how American Media, Inc sold web programs for Men’s Fitness. We reevaluated the idea of creating stand-alone, designed microsites for our advertisers.

Traditional microsites take a long time to create due to the inevitable unending and often inane changes that come from the clients. The also rarely perform well since they tend to be very SEO unfriendly, difficult to find and navigate once found. Far too much emphasis would be put on to the look of the product, rather than on it’s relevance.

Our concept was to take the basic philosophy of microsites alive, but build them with a far greater emphasis on content. The advertiser would get their own URL, custom content, skins, and roadblock ads, but the navigation and layout of the page would mimic the main site. Doing so, they would be far more SEO friendly.

We had created other programs in this manner, but the whole concept came together in a seamless manner when we built the Triathlon Training Guide for the US Navy. A multipage training guide on the Men’s Fitness website was combined with an email program, video and social media strategies.

This format has since become the standard way in which we sell and build online programs for Men’s Fitness. Sure, being nominated for an award is cool, but something else matters to me. In the magazine world, it’s not all that often that the opinions of a web editor and producer are taken so wholly and successfully into consideration.

The program in question has since been taken offline as it has run its course. Here instead are a couple screenshots for you to gaze lovingly at.

Triathlon Training Guide Hompage

Email Campaign

We did not win, losing to Better Homes and Gardens. And admittedly it was more than a little disconcerting to hear so many of the winners still referring to their web teams as “working in a closet” or “a small addition to the print team” and so on. It was even more bothersome to hear some web-only properties talking about launching print versions. That seems a little ass-backwards to me.

Even though the publishing industry still has quite a way to go before caching up to the technology at hand, this was a good day. Win or lose, it showed promise.

About MIN
MIN (Media Industry News) offers a wide array of resources to media professionals. Oddly enough, their website does little to concisely describe their work. Browsing around, I can tell you that they offer awards, job listings, events, training and more.

See Also:
2011 MIN Best of the Web
MIN (Media Industry News)
Men’s Fitness
American Media, Inc

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