Exec Stories - John Innes

By : PPA Communications

In the second of a series of blogs to get to know the PPA Scotland Executive Committee better, Director of Think, John Innes, tells us how he sees the future of the magazine industry

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John InnesTell us about yourself and why you love magazine publishing.

I grew up in the north of Scotland and can trace my love of magazines back to primary school where I published hand-drawn magazines for my class-mates and later drew cartoon strips for our school yearbooks. 

After studying in Edinburgh I moved to London to work in the production department of an organisation that produced Sunday school magazines and children’s books. Working with the company’s editors, designers and sales teams was an excellent grounding in the publishing industry and gave me an understanding of all parts of the process from creative to print and distribution.

I then moved to John Brown Publishing working on consumer titles such as Gardens Illustrated, Fortean Times and Viz, and magazines produced in behalf of client such as Virgin and Waitrose. From there I went to work for the British Film Institute publishing the world’s oldest Film magazine Sight & Sound for five years.


What’s your role at Think – what do you do day-to-day?

I joined Think’s London office as an account manager in 2005 working on magazines for some of the UK’s leading membership bodies. In 2007 I launched our Glasgow office from where we now publish content across print, video and digital channels for organisations such as National Trust for Scotland, the Royal Photographic Society, Historic Scotland, National Museums Scotland, Benenden and a host of other world-class membership bodies, charities and brands.

As Managing Director of the Glasgow office I work with our editorial, design, sales and account management teams to ensure that we deliver the best possible content on behalf of our clients.


What are your thoughts on the direction of the magazine publishing industry?

I think the newsstand is a very challenging environment for publishers at the moment, but companies that are producing content that is loved and valued by their audiences are thriving. We produce material across a range of different channels but still find that magazines are one of the most effective ways of engaging audiences in a deep and meaningful manner. One of our newest titles has a print run of 360,000 copies and is going from strength-to-strength with a strategy that involves print, video, social and online content.

It is important that we don't think print is the only solution. The channel that we use is dependent on the messages that we want to communicate. The future of the industry belongs to companies that are willing to be platform agnostic using print where it is the best solution, but not hanging on to it if it isn't.


How are you supporting the industry as part of your role on the PPA Exec Committee?

We offer regular internships to young journalists and designers and are always willing to give advice and support to other companies. I've been involved in almost every aspect of this industry at some point in my career, and if I can help I'm more than willing to.


What can people contact you about if they want to?

Absolutely anything. If we can be of assistance to fellow members we'd be delighted to.

To contact John with your thoughts on PPA Scotland and what we can do to represent the industry better, email: john@thinkpublishing.co.uk

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