Reasons To Be Cheerful – Part One: Publish Awards

Reasons To Be Cheerful – Part One: Publish Awards

The Publish Awards last night provided a feel of both optimism and sadness, all in one. It’s a pretty messed-up, once grand old industry, with a lot of good, but confused people still giving it their best. B&T’s Jeremy Knibbs was there and here  are some of the reasons to be cheerful from last night’s do…

 1. Lots of excited, energised and happy people

Ok, when you get to one of these awards nights you think you are going to win. It’s a good business model. But given the parlous state of publishing, you’d expect the mood and the numbers to be down. The Publish Awards was quite the opposite. The organiser, Mumbrella, who has done a bit of its own defying of the publishing odds over the years, did a great job providing reasons for publishers to be cheerful.

2. Womens Weekly

Grand old dame that maintains a platform of great journalism despite all the shit flying around it over there at Bauer. Won best journo (second year running), best single article and best editor. It’s a good read? Who’d have thought that was a strategy? Fairfax might want to think that one through a bit better.

3. Accountants at war

Only in B2B publishing would you see two accounting institutions decide that if one can do a near impossible reinvention of their brand, the other is going to do it – better. And money is no object (and these guys are accountants, disgraceful). In the Black, produced by Bauer for the CPAs and feted now for many years as an amazing re-invention of a boring accountants mag, got beaten by Accuity, the Chartered’s challenger brand,  for business mag of the  year. In the Black came second – ooh, that’s gotta hurt. Watch this space for ‘Return of the CPAs’.

4.  Digital is sort of  getting more integrated

Mumbrella has done a pretty good job of getting innovative online publishers on board to what was once a bunch of ‘good ol’ boy’ print publishers, trying (usually badly) to do digital. Mumbrella came from the ‘old’ and became the ‘new’ and they seem to have built a bit of a bridge at this event. Notable for their attendance – VICE,, The Urban List, Allure Media, Buzzfeed and a few others. That these guys deign to mix with the oldies now, is a great sign for publishing.

5. B2B and consumer in the one room

Sort of like the end of the world movie where the reptilian-like aliens are going to enslave all of mankind for a food source (who could be playing the aliens in this movie I wonder?) and the Russians (B2B) finally make friends with the Americans (Consumer) in order to ward off the evil doers. It’s lovely to see. And good for innovation probably, as despite what most people would think, the Russians are generally more innovative in this movie – not because they’re any smarter, they have just been more desperate over the years to find a way to scrape a living. Which turns out to be a useful lifeskill in publishing these days.

6. NewsLife Media

Won best consumer/custom publisher second year running. They should have perhaps died a sad but inevitable death a few years ago – especially after some numbnut accountant at News timed it wrong and overpaid for all the mags from Hannan. But some strange mix of passion, cultural transformation and smarts kicked in over there and they re-birthed themselves as a half-decent multi-channel group. That can’t be easy working under the News hierarchy. Great example of what purpose and passion can do and proof positive that publishing is fine, just a bit harder. Hopefully they don’t get cocky and stuff it up. There’s a long way to go yet.

Here’s a full list of the winners:

Long live original content producers and ‘real’ publishers! Down with the evil imperialist global digital platforms, which enslave the content and data of others in their pursuit of being everything to everyone.

The Excellence Award

Winner: HC Online –

Magazine Cover of the Year (Business)

Winner: Australian Pharmacist
Runner up: Independent Financial Advisor

Magazine Cover of the Year (Consumer/Custom)

Winner: GQ Australia
Runner up: Harper’s Bazaar Australia

Designer of the Year (Business)

Winner: Kate Barnett – In The Black
Runner up: Aaron Sammut – Queensland Mining & Energy Bulletin

Designer of the Year (Consumer/Custom)

Winner: Tony Rice – Qantas magazine
Runner up: Giota Letsios – Country Style

Best App on Mobile or Tablet device

Winner: Donna Hay
Runner up: Woolworths Fresh

Journalist of the Year (Business)

Winner: Andrew Daniels – Australian Pharmacist
Runner up: Brett Williams – Police Journal

Journalist of the Year (Consumer/Custom)

Winner: Clair Weaver – The Australian Women’s Weekly
Runner up: Michael Sheather – The Australian Women’s Weekly

Single Article of the Year

Winner: “Our daughter is now our son” by Michael Sheatherf, The Australian Women’s Weekly

Runner up: “It was torture” by Brett Williams, The Police Association of South Australia

Editor of the Year (Business)

Winner: Samantha McLean – Elite Agent
Runner up: Yelena Fairfax – Beauty Directory

Editor of the Year (Consumer/Custom)

Winner: Helen McCabe – The Australian Women’s Weekly
Runner up: Jackie Frank – marie claire Australia

Event of the Year (Business)

Winner: Better Business Summit 2015
Runner up: Australian Mortgage Awards 2014

Event of the Year (Consumer/Custom)

Winner: Vogue Fashion’s Night Out 2015
Runner up: Delicious Produce Awards 2015

Special Edition of the Year

Winner: Better Homes and Gardens – Colour for Me
Runner up: Donna Hay Fresh + Light

Salesperson/Team of the Year (Business)

Winner: Nick Stanley – Australian Hospital and Healthcare Bulletin

Salesperson/Team of the Year (Consumer/Custom)

Runner up: Benn Sykes,

Launch/Re-Launch of the Year

Winner: Ninemsn Honey
Runner up: Lawyers Weekly

Multi-channel Brand of the Year

Winner: Vice Australia
Runner up: Vogue Australia

Association or Member Organisation Magazine of the Year

Winner: Insurance & Risk Professional
Runner up: The Road Ahead

Small Publisher of the Year

Winner: Refraction Media
Runner up: Conversant Media

Business Publishing Company of the Year

Winner: Sterling Publishing
Runner up: Key Media

Consumer/Custom Publishing Company of the Year

Winner: NewsLifeMedia
Runner up: Medium Rare Content Agency

Website of the Year (Business)

Winner: HC Online –
Runner up: Insurance and Risk

Website of the Year (Consumer/Custom)

Runner up: The Roar

Business Magazine of the Year

Winner: Acuity
Runner up: In the Black

Custom Magazine of the Year

Winner: Woolworths Fresh
Runner up: Travel Ideas

Consumer Magazine of the Year (Below 20,000 circ)

Winner: Peppermint
Runner up: Geelong + Surf Coast Living

Consumer Magazine of the Year (Above 20,000 circ)

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