This week we have a guest post from Editor in Chief and Co-founder of XO Group Inc., Carley Roney:
As the Editor-in-Chief of The Knot I get asked a lot of questions, but this one never fails to surprise me: why is The Knot so committed to brides? I think to myself, isn’t it obvious? I’ve been even more surprised to hear it leveled as a criticism—that we are too devoted to our brides at the expense of our advertisers. Is it possible for a media publication to be too committed to its readers? I don’t think so. Let me explain.
When my partners and I founded The Knot fifteen years ago, we were a bunch of nobodies just out of film school with a brand that didn’t mean anything to anyone. Over time we became the #1 wedding brand, trusted by virtually every couple in America. How did we do it? A ton of hard work, innumerable cups of coffee, and an unbreakable commitment to providing our couples with the most inspiring and practical content on every media platform along with connections to the wedding professionals who can bring their dream wedding to life.
Like any media company, we live in tension when our readers’ and advertisers’ interests are in conflict. The American Society of Magazine Editors provides ethical guidelines that govern our industry and protect consumers from the kind of biased reporting that can happen when a big client threatens to pull advertising over a less than flattering article. Can you imagine a world where news magazines don’t expose dangerous airplane conditions because that major airline is a client? The stakes are not always this high, but the implications are incredibly important.
When we write articles that are interesting to brides but unfortunately upset our advertisers (this is never our intent, but it sometimes happens), the easy thing to do would be to retract the article. But when we believe the information is necessary for a bride to effectively plan her wedding, we stand by our readers and our integrity because it’s this very commitment that makes our service to advertisers possible. If we don’t serve brides with quality, independent editorial content, we will lose them as readers and you will lose them as prospective clients.
In short, our commitment to our readers and to editorial independence IS our commitment to our advertising partners. It comes from our deep and abiding passion for the weddings industry. This passion comes with us to every speaking engagement, press appearance, and networking event. It inspires our market research and is the driving force behind our ongoing product development initiatives.
This is the level of service you deserve, and I know you expect nothing less from us as we work together to uphold the standards of the wedding industry. Thank you for your support and partnership.