Like most fables, the story of the shoemaker and his children has an enduring moral behind it: sometimes you can become so absorbed in your own work that you overlook the most obvious applications.
This thought-and a desire not to fall into the shoemaker’s trap-comes to mind as we at KidScreen begin laying the foundations for an exciting new stage of growth for the KidScreen franchise.
Since the appearance of the first issue of our magazine almost two years ago, we have been reporting regularly on the value and the importance of brands-and of building franchises. The theme recurs across all sectors of our coverage, whether in the compelling broadcast presence and multiple product extensions that have been created around the Nickelodeon cable service, to the multidisciplined approach being applied to today’s entertainment marketing extravaganzas, to the strategic relationships involving licensing, marketing, promotional and retail partners who routinely tie in to children’s entertainment products.
The brand-building lesson has not been lost on us.
We intend to build on the strength of the KidScreen name by expanding into new, but related, ancillary activities, all of them, like KidScreen, focused on the children’s demographic. The spin-off products and services will be market-driven. The activities we are considering include conferences, newsletters, Web site enhancements, an awards show and possibly ventures into original research projects. Like the KidScreen core product, they will be designed to serve the information needs of our target audience. Also, as with KidScreen, though our base is in North America, with offices in Toronto and a subsidiary in Los Angeles, our view will be global.
In preparation for these new ventures, we have restructured internally.
Founding editor Mark Smyka will move to a new position as executive editor and as vice-president, conference management, and will share in the development of ancillary products with KidScreen publisher Ken Faier.
Theresa Dillon, also a member of the original KidScreen editorial team, is promoted to editor. Theresa has been KidScreen’s managing editor.
And in the sales and marketing department, Nicole London has been promoted to sales director, headquartered in the Toronto office. Nicole has been with KidScreen’s parent company, Brunico Communications, for four years.
While these new directions will require the application of extra energy and some new thinking, we intend not to lose sight of the continuing needs of our base product, KidScreen. Brunico Marketing Inc.’s West Coast sales team, directed by Kimbirly Orr with account manager Jo Anne Kenny, and the Los Angeles editorial department headed by West Coast editor Virginia Robertson reflect our commitment towards maintaining KidScreen’s broad marketing and editorial focus. Soon, we will be announcing additional improvements to our editorial coverage, addressing news in international markets outside of North America in particular.