In my opinion: Mike Wilson: It’s marketing clout we all need

THE Scottish magazines festival, Magfest, never ceases to amaze, for delivering a constant stream of new insights.

At one level, they are provided by the presentations made by the (usually young) entrepreneurs behind new-starts.

There is an entirely natural temptation to view our ever-changing media landscape through the prism of those media outlets – very often, local newspapers – that are shutting down.

But for every closure, there are often several just starting out.

An obvious challenge is marketing. A single appearance at a festival or a handful of stories online is never going to be enough.

All these start-ups, and yet we hardly ever hear anything about them. Or, at least, hear of them enough for there to be instant recognition.

The proof, I suppose, is my own relative ignorance, despite my having taken an active interest in the media for a very long time – even if my involvement with has slipped a little these last couple of years.

I had not heard – until an appearance at Magfest – of the Hyman Archive.

What an extraordinary undertaking; this gigantic collection of magazines, built over 30 years and growing even faster, as word gets out.

Utterly gigantic and utterly as it should be; magazines being every bit as integral to our cultural moorings as books and other forms of published material.

And, as word is getting out, so donations are beginning to flood in; I’m imagining mainly from members of the pubic.

It needs its own building; and Edinburgh could do worse than think, sharpish, about possibly providing it a home.

It requires some big thinking and probably even bigger resources to help manoeuvre all these new-starts and amazing initiatives into the public gaze.

Time and time again, Magfest provides that vital first step, and it should always seek to do so.

But we need, then, some marketing clout to really make an impact.

Mike Wilson is MD of