For years we’ve heard that print media is dead. In an age full of compact supercomputers, 5G networks and in-car Wi Fi, traditional magazines and newspapers have mostly fallen by the wayside in favor of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and an abundance of always-connected devices. Stephanie Steinberg believes otherwise, and stopped by the Franco office for an educational chat with our team about life as a hardworking journalist, the challenges of working in the print media industry…and her famous purple pen. Here is just some of what we gathered from the discussion:
Stephanie is a Farmington Hills native and 2012 graduate of the University of Michigan. At Michigan, she served as a reporter and editor-in-chief of the school’s student-run newspaper, The Michigan Daily. It was there that her consistent use of a purple pen reached folklore status (Franco was excited to learn in our discussion that the legend is indeed true). Stephanie impressed as a leader at The Michigan Daily and landed a job in Washington D.C. as an online lifestyle editor for WTOP-FM and assistant health and money editor for U.S. News & World Report. She returned home in 2016 as a features reporter for The Detroit News but ultimately chose to leave the paper for a role as managing editor with Neighborhood SEEN. Here’s what Stephanie had to say regarding her inspiration for working in metro Detroit:
When Steinberg joined, Neighborhood SEEN was already one of the largest monthly lifestyle publications in the state of Michigan. And while there are a multitude of reasons for someone to be attracted to a job – salary, location and job description being just a few – Stephanie’s primary draw was SEEN’s potential. The publication’s mission to “help everyone live their best life, LOCAL” underscores its root philosophy, one Stephanie herself holds dear: in order to live a richer and fuller life, one needs to make meaningful connections with the people, places, and businesses in their neighborhood. Stephanie and SEEN seek to spread happiness and joy as the go-to source for updates on locally-focused arts & entertainment events, restaurants, fashion, weddings, real estate and more. Keen on promoting knowledgeable community members and social media influencers as contributors, the people of metro Detroit are – in Stephanie’s words – what will shape SEEN’s brand.
“Smart Print” and the Layar App
With a newly re-designed website, Neighborhood SEEN ultimately seeks to take readers beyond the pages through local event listings and sections like the SEEN Marketplace, SEEN in the Kitchen and SEEN in the Closet, but the potential Steinberg saw in the magazine largely stemmed from its plans to implement Layar. Layar is an app with the ability to scan content and provide links to PDFs of featured items in a magazine’s spread. The potential applications for this technology are endless – its ability to seamlessly transition readers from print to a less-restricted digital space opens up a wealth of opportunities for readers to explore local retailers, restaurants and much more. Steinberg was noticeably excited by this technology, and SEEN is looking to license it to other publications in the future.
Ultimately, Franco was able to get to the root of Stephanie’s penchant for purple pens: she began using them in high school after hearing edits made with a red pen could come across harshly. Though we may be bigger fans of the color red than Stephanie, we surely agree with Neighborhood SEEN’s approach of forming more meaningful connections with our community in order to improve our understanding of – and relationship with – the people, places and businesses we interact with on a daily basis. Thanks for taking the time to stop by our neighborhood, Stephanie!
Chase Rossman is an Assistant Account Executive at Franco. Shoot him an email at [email protected].