Interview with Paul Parey Publishing
Special interest magazines with tradition require continuous development in order to provide customers with new incentives and added value. Not only is it important to overcome any new technical barriers, but also to constantly reflect upon ones values and maintain a constructive exchange of views.
Felix Rietz, Project Manager Sales and Media at Paul Parey Publishing, talked to us about his approach to such issues.
PressMatrix: For most readers, hunting is probably not the first hobby that would spring to mind. So to start off, could you tell us about your special interest magazines and your publishing house?
Felix Rietz: The Paul Parey magazine publisher is the special interest publisher for nature lovers, with our main focus being on hunting and fishing.
Our titles include WILD UND HUND, DEUTSCHE JAGDZEITUNG, JAGEN WELTWEIT, WILDE HUNDE, FISCH&FANG, DER RAUBFISCH and NORWEGEN.
In addition, we publish special issues on various featured topics. Calendars, books, DVDs, CDs and various shopping items such as clothing, shoes, hunting and fishing accessories are also available through the Paul Parey magazine publisher.
PMX: A cursory glance reveals how different your magazines are: Wild und Hund is aimed at very traditional hunters and deals with both hunting culture and policy. The Deutsche Jagdzeitung guides the professional hunter through topics ranging from ammunition to the appropriate outfit. By contrast, Wilde Hunde is aimed at junior hunters and the peppy, eye-catching contributions intend to help them “avoid the hidden pitfalls of hunting practice.”* But for the uninitiated it smacks of adventure-seeking, trigger-happy hobby hunters. Is there a consistent philosophy behind all magazines?
FR: The philosophy shared by all magazines is the respectful and responsible treatment of animals and nature in terms of sustainability. The training for prospective hunters isn’t called the “green Abitur” for nothing. We are convinced that everyone with a love of the great outdoors harbours a spirit of adventure. In order to serve the different character-types, our magazines also differ in orientation as you correctly noted.
Hunting is not only hobby and sport, but also a profession. Hunters help preserve the forest climate and regulate animal populations.
PMX: Along with your publications for the hunting community, you also cater for fishing enthusiasts with your angling press. Are there also different target groups and philosophies here?
FR: FISCH & FANG is the ever-young classic among fishing magazines and serves all facets of fishing, while DER RAUBFISCH, as the name suggests, clearly targets the predator-fish anglers. Our magazine NORWEGEN is aimed primarily at sea anglers. Here too the philosophy is the responsible treatment of animals and nature.
PMX: Vegan lifestyles and sustainable nutrition are becoming increasingly important in politics and among consumers. To what extent do such debates and issues affect the content of your magazines?
FR: Of course, these debates do not pass us by. Lifestyle and nutrition are discussed controversially everywhere. On the other hand our readers, hunting in their local region, have the decided bonus of their game being a sustainable, very healthy alternative to mass-produced industrial meat. It’s procurement does not harm the climate either; in effect the product is nothing other than local organic meat. The suffering endured by animals in mass production facilities – for many vegans and vegetarians a principle motivation for renouncing meat – simply does not apply here.
Just like our Stone Age ancestors throughout the millennia, many contemporary hunters live on the product of their hunt, which means their nutrition is very close to the natural omnivorous diet of human beings. In our magazines, we regularly give tips on preparing wild game to create versatile, delicious meals without much effort.
PMX: In the course of such debates, do you find that your magazine content is met more with approval or with criticism?
FR: In debates with non-hunters a common reaction is: I wasn’t aware of that! The non-hunter often experiences this moment of revelation when the discussion turns to the sustainability of meat production through hunting or the population dynamics of individual game species in Germany, a country where the land is almost entirely intensively cultivated.
We are sure that we can significantly increase revenues in the digital sector.
PMX: The Paul Parey publishing house has existed for one hundred and fifty years. How do you lead a traditional magazine like Wild und Hund into the 21st century?
FR: The continuous development of the company and the magazines is essential. The reader must have the opportunity to derive extra value from the magazine. So we offer seminars, e-paper, an online shop and also video in the form of a DVD with hunting contributions. Our goal is to completely meet the needs of our readers and thus enhance their experience of WILD UND HUND.
PMX: Since summer 2017 you’ve also been offering your publications digitally in two kiosk apps, the hunting press and the fishing press. What was the trigger and the general motivation for the digital editions?
FR: In order to offer our customers a ‘one-stop shop’, we decided to integrate the marketing of digital subscriptions, issues and articles into the publishing company. This way we can bundle activities and offer an even simpler ordering process.
PMX:Why did you choose PressMatrix for the implementation?
FR: Both the visual appearance and the user-friendly operation were convincing. The backend organisation with Pegasus is also manageable within a short period of time. And when questions arise, the service team responds quickly and helpfully.
PMX: Has this enabled you to reach more readers or even acquire additional revenue?
FR: By bundling our e-papers and other publications, we are reaching more and more readers, while our regular readers are also alerted to the new offer. We are sure that we can significantly increase revenue in the digital sector.
PMX: All magazines are also present on Facebook and Twitter. What role does social media play in your publishing house and publications?
FR: Our presence in social media has become a must. It complements the magazines, providing our readers with the latest news or promotions. Our focus on hunting and fishing has of course prompted the occasional interesting discussion.
PMX: What trends in the publishing or digital sector are you particularly interested in?
FR: The question of the future development of print will be very interesting. From the swan song to a revival, everything is possible. Another crucial question in these times of information overload and dwindling attention is how to bring readers to invest time in our medium.
PMX: Finally, a personal question: Are you yourself a passionate hunter or more the avid angler? And where did your last big (hunting) excursion take you?
FR: I go fishing myself, mostly to the rivers in the surrounding region, i.e. the Middle Rhine and the Lahn. This may not be a “big” trip, but it is definitely always a short break from everyday life.
PMX: Thank you for the interview!
*Source: media data Paul Parey 2017.