Antonella Cattaneo, executive editor of the Italian magazines Automazione Oggi, Efficiency & Environment and Fieldbus & Networks talks to Cision’s Mario Cipriano about their B2B readerships and how multi-media can boost the role of print.
How did you end up as executive director for these three magazines – all published by Fiera Milano Media S.p.A.?
While at university, studying statistics, I was also attending a course to become a technical-scientific reporter. This allowed me the opportunity to work as a reporter for publisher Gruppo Editoriale Jackson.
Hired for the books section, my role required me to read and correct books that explained how to use PC software. So, I learned a lot about the topic and about how to use different software. When Editoriale Jackson was sold to Dutch publisher VNU, I had the chance to move.
I joined Automazione Oggi (Automation Today)’s editorial team as a reporter. From this, I was offered the role of managing editor both for the magazine and two supplements Fieldbus & Networks – which effectively is an independent magazine – and Soluzioni Software per l’Industria (Software Solutions for Industry).
Once I passed my journalist exam, I became editor-in-chief.
VNU, after a while, sold the Italian business unit to Fiera Milano, which created the publisher Fiera Milano Media. The company gave me a lot of trust, entrusting me with the whole Automation Area and then the exhibitions-conference, an area that I have evolved – with my team – to explore new formats and ideas.
The newest member of the portfolio is a magazine called Efficiency & Environment, covering the area of energy and environment.
All three main titles deal with niche technical topics. What makes them special?
Automazione Oggi is a magazine on industrial automation, declining automation in all its forms, focusing on the innovation and the new ways of production – always looking toward the future.
Automazione e Strumentazione (Automation and Instrumentation) prefers automation of raw materials. So it covers a lot about oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, etc.
Fieldbus & Networks is dedicated to the world of industrial communication, while Soluzioni Software per l’Industria is dedicated to the management of business processes.
Efficiency & Environment is aimed at the world of efficiency and sustainability in industry. Let’s not forget also that our Automation Area also has two websites that complete the automation offer (automaizone-plus.it) and energy (energia-plus.it).
Journalism is changing, with digital taking precedence. So, why do you still believe in “print journalism”?
For our magazines, digital is a necessary complement to print. They go hand-in-hand. However, our readers love to browse and read their favourite articles on paper in spite of the digital age.
Whatever the case, we offer them the best of both worlds because we believe that both worlds need to harmonise together.
On Automazione Oggi we have recently implemented a form of “augmented reality”. [Using an app for mobile phones and tablets called ‘Experience Gate’ the magazine] readers can get more than just the print version.
For example, you can watch interesting videos on how to use a product or also check on constantly evolving data and information, or listen to an interview with an expert explaining the market trend. I mean, it is a tool that allowed us to ‘widen’ the paper, making our service even more appreciated and fascinating.
What challenges and excites you more about working in journalism?
I am naturally curious , as well as dynamic, with a strong desire for learning and discovering new things. I get involved in all that is futuristic and technologically advanced.
What do you look for in a press release?
A press release must talk to me – not “naked and skinny”! By which I mean, it should be full-bodied containing relevant information and the right resources. Above all, it must tell me a story – how a product or a system works and is used, where it is used and why.
What is your relationship with PRs?
It is quite good and productive, because PR agencies are often the interface that help us get interesting technical editorial material.
What advice would you give to aspiring journalists?
Journalism is changing a lot. But what you should never change is the desire to learn, to understand, and to look for interesting stories to tell with all possible tools and media… not just with a pen.