Ad Sales, Consulting & The Business Side Of The Magazine Industry In A Very Honest & Practical Way – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With James G. Elliott

Mr. Magazine™ talks with Jim Elliott about some of the problems and some solutions for magazines and magazine media over on his blog.

Samir Husni: With the current magazine and media climate, suddenly no one is just talking change; everyone is saying that “change” has left the station. What are you seeing from the advertising/marketing aspect of the industry that either gives you hope or makes you want to close shop and head home?

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Jim Elliott speaks at ACT 6 Experience

The ACT 6 Experience this year hosted more than 40 speakers and over 100 magazine and magazine media movers and shakers from all around the globe between April 20, and April 22, 2016. This is the sixth annual ACT (Amplify, Clarify & Testify) Experience, the theme this year: Celebrate Magazines Celebrate Print.

A panel moderated by Brian F. O'Leary discussed Making Money in Print, and the power of magazines.  What follows is the individual introductory presentation by Jim Elliott, and the full panel discussion.

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A Look Ahead: Print and Digital Periodicals

This exerpt is from an article by Jim Elliott currently on

Just a few years ago, it looked as if digital publishing would push print aside. But print refused to die. Why?

Clients of my advertising sales and consulting company publish a wide array of periodicals, from specialized small circulation scientific digital journals to highly-regarded printed consumer magazines, newsletters, and everything in between. We often discuss publishing formats. Just a few years ago, it looked as if digital publishing would push print aside and that publishers would be able to avoid paying the high costs of paper, printing and postage. But print refused to die. Why?  Some readers want printed magazines. 

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Advertising's Existential Moment

"The value of traditional advertising is no longer clear. New formats create as many problems as they solve."

To dig deeper into these trends, Folio: interviewed 18 key players (including Jim Elliott) in magazine-media advertising today.

The past few years have been challenging in the world of advertising. First came the decline of print, with “digital dimes” replacing lost print dollars. 

Then programmatic buying turned inventory into a cheap commodity. The “viewability” debate stole another chunk, and ad blocking is an emerging challenge. The rise of social, mobile, video and native atomized audiences and changed the rules of the game again and again. And then there’s whatever happens next. And all this is happening in a market where just two companies—Google and Facebook—now grab more than $60 billion in annual U.S. advertising revenue, which by some accounts is more than the magazine and newspaper industries combined. So what’s going on here—and what’s the long-term outlook? 

Read more at:

Programmatic Ad Buying: A Q&A with Industry Experts

The Lane Press Blog hosted a Q&A with Jim Elliott and Steve Davis, President of Kantar Media SRDS, so they could share insights into programmatic ad buying found in the 2015 Study of Media Planning & Buying co-funded by the Elliott Co. and Kantar Media SRDS.  Read the full interview here:

2015 REPORT: Understanding Today's Media Buyers

"I am very excited to announce the second Study of Media Planning & Buying from Kantar Media SRDS & James G. Elliott Co. The study validates much that was in the 2013 study but adds more dimension and also asks about programmatic buying."  — Jim Elliott

The entire report is available to download here:

Mr. Magazine™ interviewed Jim Elliott and Kantar Media's Steve Davis about the new study:

Agency Media Planners and Buyers are spread very thinly, with multiple assignments and significant financial responsibilities placed upon them every day. Steve Davis, President of SRDS and Kantar Media Health Research, and Jim Elliott, President of the James. G. Elliott Co., got together recently to do a study on the needs of media planners and buyers in terms of time, opportunities and money.

This was the second study the two companies had done between October, 2013 and January, 2015 and showed significant changes in some areas of the second study such as:


  • The average respondent recommended or helped purchase $25.9 million in advertising over the past 12 months in 2015—up significantly from $19.4 million in 2013. However, this could be a reflection of more respondents from slightly larger companies. Big companies plan bigger ad budgets.


Read the full interview here:

American Chemical Society Names the James G. Elliott Co. to Sell All Advertising Nationally for C&EN Magazine and 40 Technical Journals

Kevin Davies, Ph.D., the publisher of C&EN Media Group, released the following statement:

I am writing to inform you of an important and exciting change in the advertising program for both the C&EN Media Group and ACS Publications, the scientific publishing division of the American Chemical Society.

One of our important goals at ACS is to deliver for our advertisers the greatest possible return on their marketing investments. Many of our activities are readily apparent, such as the editorial excellence of our content and the broad, timely news coverage of the global chemistry enterprise in our award-winning weekly magazine, Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). Some of our other efforts may be less visible but are equally important to our delivery of exceptional customer service and value to our advertisers, and to the hundreds of thousands of readers we reach via a range of print, web, and mobile formats.

We have recently made an important change that enhances our advertising capabilities and strengthens our ability to serve your needs.

I am delighted to announce that ACS Publications has partnered with James G. Elliott Co., Inc. to be our exclusive advertising sales representative in North America, effective immediately. The Elliott Company is the largest independent media company of its kind, with sales offices in the major advertising hubs of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Augmenting their diverse media sales expertise, the firm provides a range of marketing and research services that will be of strategic benefit to our clients as we seek to enhance our print and digital advertising offerings and continue to innovate in today’s exciting marketing environment.

We know that in addition to following C&EN, influential researchers and decision-makers worldwide rely heavily upon the peer-reviewed research content disseminated by our award-winning ACS Publications web and mobile delivery platforms. Through our new relationship with the Elliott Company, we also will seek to deliver enhanced advertising impact for customers who wish to leverage the broad exposure and ROI offered by our digital media offerings—including web and mobile alerts and user downloads, sponsored webinars, virtual conferences, and custom publishing opportunities with advertorial potential.

How to Help New Sales Managers Succeed - Sales and Marketing @

Part 2 of a series:  Jim Elliott and Dr. Joe Arpaia, a psychiatrist who specializes in stress-management, share some important insights into the processes by which top salespeople can get into trouble as sales managers—and how their bosses can help them succeed—in the Sept/Oct issue of Folio: Magazine.
Read the article here:


Opera News Names the James G. Elliott Co., Inc. to Sell All Advertising Nationally

"We’re putting forth effort in advertising; we just changed our ad sales team. I just engaged James Elliott’s company and I think they’re terrific. We’ve engaged very, very seasoned professionals to represent us."
—Diane Silberstein, Publisher, Opera News    


Why Your Top Salesperson Might Struggle After a Promotion

Sales success doesn’t always translate to management proficiency.

Jim Elliott and Dr. Joe Arpaia, a psychiatrist who specializes in stress-management, share some important insights into the processes by which top salespeople can get into trouble as sales managers—and how to prevent that from happening in the April/May 2014 issue of Folio: Magazine.

Read the article here:

New Research: What Influences Agency Media Buyer Decision-Making?

Association Media & Publishing's Sidebar blog interviews Lindsay Morrison, VP of Marketing Communications at Kantar Media SRDS & Healthcare Research, a group that collects, organizes, and delivers advertising data to connect media buyers with media sellers.

SRDS recently teamed up with AM&P member James G. Elliott Co., Inc. on an important new market research study designed to understand the information needs of media planners and buyers at advertising agencies. What follows are some of the surprising results of this study, which was conducted in Q4 2013 and included 204 individual respondents.  Here's an excerpt:

Sidebar: What are some of the surprises gleaned from your recent survey of advertising agencies?

Morrison: One of the more interesting is that there are an increasing number of media buyers who are planning and buying advertising schedules all year long, as opposed to the more traditional pattern of planning and buying your advertising in the fall for the coming year and then being done with it. In our survey, 63 percent of the media buyers said they are buying schedules sporadically, quarterly, or semi-annually.

Read the full interview here:

Jim Elliott Elected to AM&P Board of Directors

Jim Elliott has been elected to the 2014-2015 Board of Directors of Association Media & Publishing (AM&P). As a longtime member of AM&P, a frequent writer for Signature Magazine and Blurb, AM&P's blog, he looks forward to contributing to the organization in this new role.

For more than 30 years, Association Media and Publishing, formerly known as the Society of National Association Publications (SNAP), has served the professionals and publications that educate, inform and engage members of trade and membership associations.

Association Media & Publishing’s 2014 Annual Meeting will be held May 19–21, at the Sheraton Premiere, Tysons Corner, VA. 


Current Trends in Media Planning and Buying Revealed

New research from Kantar SRDS and the James G. Elliott Co., Inc. now being released  illuminates factors that affect the way media is planned and bought today.  Samir "Mr. Magazine™" Husni's video interview with Steve Davis and Jim Elliott, presidents of the sponsoring companies, will help viewers see how they can increase ad sales revenues by applying these findings and selling the way today's buyers want to be sold.

You can get a copy of the full study by filling out the form on the left.

Read more about it in our latest issue of Ads and Ideas: /ads-ideas/2014/3/19/how-agencies-plan-and-buy-today.html

More buzz about this study:

Mr. Magazine's™ Blog:


Pulling Back the Curtain on Rate Base Inflation

Over at Publishing Executive's website (, Bo Sacks takes on Rate Base and asks industry leaders (including Jim Elliott) for their take on it.  An excerpt:

"From my perspective, rate base is a convoluted tool designed to produce distorted circulation figures. Yes, auditing is an attempt to verify with some precision and prove to the advertisers that a certain number of people may have picked up and read your magazine. But imbedded in this arcane system is a potential for trickery and a temptation to abuse the well-meaning audit results to achieve what amounts to some meaningless readership number."

You can read the rest here:

RFP for ad sales? Not necessarily a good idea

Association Media & Publishing / By Carla Kalogeridis 

Sidebar Newsletter of February 13, 2014 from Association Media & Publishing, carries an interview with Jim Elliott. Jim shares ideas to help associations improve the search process when they are looking for new ad sales representation. Even when use of an RFP is mandated, some preliminary research can help publishers save time by narrowing the field to firms that have the right chemistry, capabilities and interest-level.  Read it in full here:


See highlights of the 2013 Folio: MediaNext Show

The Folio: MediaNext Show held in New York October 20-22, 2013 was packed with information useful to members of the publishing community.  A complete guide to all of the events are available here, with links to many of the individual presentations. Jim Elliott's presentation, The One Constant in Media Sales: Disruption, can be viewed in its entirety here.

ACT 4: Publishing industry event hosted by "Mr. Magazine"

In November 2013, Dr. Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni once again hosted the annual ACT event for the publishing industry at Ole Miss. 

At ACT 4, speakers included such luminaries as Billy Morris, CEO of Morris Communications, Donna Kessler, President of Morris Media Networks (publishers of 65,000,000 circulation Where Magazine) and prominent M&A advisor Reed Phillips of Desilva+Phillips, interviewed by Jim Elliott. See Jim Elliott's interview with Reed Phillips here: 

"How Magazine Publishers are Creating Value for Their Companies in the Digital Age"

Reed Phillips, CEO and Managing Partner, Desilva + Phillips
Jim Elliott, CEO, The James G. Elliott Co., Inc.
The Power of Print Integrated
Magazine Innovation Center, The University of Mississippi

See what BoSacks had to say about ACT 4 immediately afterward:

Flexible Selling

In the October issue of Publishing Executive, Jim Elliott talks about flexible selling. (To see the full digitial issue click here -- the article is on p. 12-13)

Modern salespeople must be agile enough to adapt to the ever-changing ad sales process.

For years, I have been noticing a trend in advertising sales which I have described as a transition from relationship selling to transactional selling. When I discuss this topic with publishing executives, most agree immediately, because they have observed the same change. However, some of the comments made in response to my article in the April issue of Publishing Executive led me to realize that I need to explain my thoughts more completely.   

Some readers took my use of the term “transactional” as demeaning to the role of today’s salespeople. This was not my intention—I meant to convey that the focus is moving to be more between the buyer and the product, instead of the buyer and the seller. Since it is hard to have a personal relationship with a product, “transactional” was the best description I could think of to define the seller’s position. Friendliness is still important, and rapport does certainly help, but most buyers are no longer highly influenced by their personal relationships with the sellers. If nothing else, the accountability that comes from greater use of metrics and public discussions of advertising buys work to reduce cronyism.

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