Vanity Fair, the Lockerbie deal and building branding trust

This is an impressive piece of journalism that you should read: The Lockerbie Deal.

No matter what platform you put it on the quality of writing and research shines through. Here’s the summary of what to expect:

“A Vanity Fair investigation reveals new details about the business interests and private dealings that lay behind the prisoner’s release. At the heart of the matter: the cozy and “profitable relationships” between the Blair government and Qaddafi’s Libya.”

Building brand trust

Vanity Fair could have held it for the magazine, but not everyone is going to go out an buy their copy on the same day. They don’t seem to be afraid of people finding their content online.

Perhaps they’re smart enough to realise that increasingly readers are platform agnostic. If they remember to buy the print copy, they will, but they expect it to be available somewhere to them regardless.

Putting it out like this builds a certain trust and loyalty among readers.

If you’re like me, you sometimes forget or don’t have time to read all your favourite sites. But if you know that the publisher appreciates this and puts it online, you’re going to keep reading and maybe buying their content.

Another unseen benefit is that seeing this quality of journalism makes me more likely to buy a subscription to the paper or an enhanced digital copy, not less.

There is something about the physical experience of reading magazines and books that isn’t matched by digital at the moment and perhaps never will be. The tactile experience of paper in unique, along with the all-round sensory exploration that is reading a physical object.

But having the same content archived online beats paper archive hands down because I can access that anywhere without having to leaf through hundred of papers and dig in boxes trying to remember which edition I’m looking for.

Put the two together and you’re starting to build a product I value and trust. And one that I can encourage my friends and extended network to enjoy as well. That is invaluable for surviving in the changing world of journalism.