Crowdsourcing has been common in advertising for some time, but in a highly unusual move, it’s now vaulting the wall at the venerable Ladies’ Home Journal, which is planning to turn over many of the pages in its 128-year-old publication to work written by readers.
The current look for Ladies’ Home Journal Starting with the March issue, LHJ editors will cull much of the magazine’s material from posts on DivineCaroline.com, a sibling at Meredith Corp. that lets consumers upload their own stories, as well as from the magazine’s website, its Facebook page and other digital channels.
The magazine will still use fact-checkers and include experts in fields such as medicine and beauty, but it will start with consumers where it can. “We really flipped this model,” said Editor-in-Chief Sally Lee. “Usually content creation begins with an editor. We have content creation that begins with a reader.”
While other publishers have dabbled in the practice, its adoption by Ladies’ Home Journal, a title that guarantees advertisers an average paid circulation of 3.2 million, is significant since it is the largest traditional media brand to commit to so much user-generated content on an ongoing basis. If it’s successful, other mass-circulation titles may follow. “I’ve been asked a lot about whether we foresee this becoming a model that other magazines will start to implement,” said Diane Malloy, publisher of Ladies’ Home Journal. “My answer is, ‘Gosh, yes, I think everyone is going to sit up and take notice.’