CCO Magazine: Pros and Cons

Chief Content Officer Magazine CoverLast month, Joe Pulizzi and the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) debuted CCO, “the magazine dedicated to content marketing for senior marketing executives.” For the industry, this is a milestone worth acknowledging. After all, as Joe and Ann Handley discuss in the feature story “Talking Innovation,” content marketing is relatively new which makes the position of CCO, or Chief Content Officer, experimental and even suspect among some folks. A magazine dedicated to content marketing helps validate and legitimize the field as a whole—much in the way that the creation of CMI and books like Content Rules are helping it go mainstream.

Pros

  • Multimedia: Each quarterly issue will be distributed in print to 20,000 senior-level marketers across North America and digitally to countless others. European and Australian versions are also in the works. While other publishers fret over the iPad and the digital delivery of their content, Joe and CMI are confidently demonstrating why print remains relevant.
  • Embedded Goodies: Audio podcasts and QR Codes sprinkled throughout the issue supplement the articles just as one would expect of a publication devoted to integrated, enhanced storytelling.
  • Tech Tools: I enjoyed the feature where social influencers share their favourite online tools, making it just a wee bit easier for me to keep up with the latest and greatest in a fast-moving industry. In this issue, I found out about slick bar code stickers by StickyBits.com from Katie McCaskey.


Cons

  • Editorial Slant: I found the first issue to be unusually weighted to B2B content, including an article on “what B2B can learn from their hip B2C cousins” and a case study of Kinaxis, a Canadian B2B supply chain management company. Is this a direct reflection of the fact CCO is a supplement to BtoB Magazine? Then, this is a publication for senior marketing executives in the B2B industry and the mission should be amended accordingly.
  • Content Smorgasbord: This free-for-all is one of the final editorial pages and it seems like an afterthought, shoehorning whatever didn’t fit elsewhere in a “smorgasbord.” Meh.
  • Design: In her review “CCO: Good Enough?,” Christine Thompson provides a detailed look at the digital production quality of the magazine. While there are some quirks that are surely being tweaked and refined in terms of its delivery, I’ll add that the layout and design of the magazine could use the same love.

At minimum, the cover needs to tie more closely to what’s covered in each issue.CCO Cover
“Content is the new black”? What’s that related to? Nowhere in the magazine is this clarified. Net-a-Porter’s weekly digital fashion magazine is briefly mentioned in an article but it’s a stretch to connect it back to the cover. Readers shouldn’t have to work this hard. Add an Editor’s Message to provide a high-level preview of each issue’s topics and discuss the cover.

CCO Table of Contents
Plus, proofreading matters. The table of contents is out of sequence.

CCO Call-Out Box
There’s a call-out box appears right above the quote in the text it’s trying to highlight. O.o.

Marketers aren’t likely to be very forgiving when it comes to design, layout and creative.

Last Word

I’m definitely looking forward to upcoming issues of this publication and congratulate all who are involved in launching CCO. When so many are happy to trumpet the demise of the publishing industry, it’s nice to rally around a bold, new project that challenges the naysayers.

Agree? Disagree? I want to know your take on CCO—post a comment below or email me.