There are many aspects to what we do and how we live that aren’t sustainable, whether we are aware and awake to these or not is another question.

Our civilisation is unsustainable; the world’s resources can’t support our modern lifestyle: three televisions per household, two cars in the garage, million dollar mortgages. Many people are living on borrowed time.

We go along with our lives the way they are because they’ve been normalised by the people around us – our neighbours, our friends and our colleagues. We substantiate each-others’ lifestyles, finding ways to make a difference where it’s comfortable to do so, but all the while knowing we have never really faced into the hard truths that threaten to eat into the comfort of our existence.

A catalyst is needed for real change – a debasing that forces us to confront everything we do and why we do it. That catalyst has arrived in the form of the global virus that has been spreading throughout the world in recent months, crippling our most populated cities and undermining the pillars of our capitalist economies.

This crisis has cut straight to the heart of the very things we know defy logic and physics: our cars manufactured in Europe, our wardrobes filled with clothes made of fabric sourced in South America and stitched together in China, a 24-hour round trip to the other side of the world for a one hour meeting.

Many of us are chasing the real-life version of the online virtual world the Internet has opened up for us without really questioning – at what cost?

Every one of us needs to adapt, and now is the time to do so – to ignore the oncoming reality of our new existence means being frozen in the headlights waiting for an inevitable collision.

As chief executive and major shareholder of Conexus Financial, the media and events company that publishes Professional Planner, Investment Magazine and Top1000 Funds – platforms and mastheads that engage and inform professionals in financial services, superannuation and asset owners, both in Australia and globally – I have been focused on re-evaluating what’s important, where value lies and how this value can be delivered more efficiently and effectively, not just survive, but to help shape the new world that’s developing before us.

To make a more meaningful impact in the creation and delivery of the unique content Professional Planner has created a strong following for, the upcoming May edition of the magazine scheduled to hit peoples’ desks later this week will be the last time the publication appears in its current print form. We will be devoting more resources to the online delivery of content for this audience.

Focusing the team’s efforts on unique content creation and digital delivery will enable us to deliver news, analysis and build community more efficiently and in a way that’s more befitting of an industry about to earn its status as a profession.

Should the print magazine be brought back to life, the content will have a very different objective: to deliver deeper insights and analysis in the form of a quarterly journal aimed at advisers who embody their fiduciary standing in the community.

I predict this time of immense change, including the habit-forming time we are working from home, will result in us changing and review many things in our lives. Print media feels outdated, travel will certainly change for ever. Working from home and shopping online is a permanent shift. However, whilst the world is spinning so fast, for now, a monthly print product makes no ethical sense. I suspect the environment will thank us too.

It’s worth mentioning here that Professional Planner’s print revenue currently represents only 3.7 per cent of Conexus Financials’ total revenues, so the decision to move ahead of the rest and cancel the print magazine will not impact the future and sustainability of the business’s broader offerings.

For some this move may seem a strange decision given we are market leader according to planner research firm Marketing Pulse, and second largest in terms of distribution in a crowded field of six publications, according to CAB audit measuring raw numbers.

But the fact that the Professional Planner print product remains profitable in its own right is not enough of a reason to keep it alive in my view. What will the world look like the next six, 12, 24 months? It’s my job to try and predict this and provide value to our audience, our readers and our advertisers.

Thanks for your support of both Professional Planner and its parent Conexus Financial and we will catch you online – sign up here if you don’t already receive industry-leading news, analysis and insights in your inbox daily.

Most importantly, stay healthy, mentally, physically and financially, and use the time to recalibrate what world you wish to live in.

I for one am excited by the opportunities the new world represents as well as invigorated by the challenges and changes we will need to navigate to get there.

If you have any thoughts or feedback, please email me directly at [email protected]

3 comments on “Behind our decision to end print”
  1. Avatar

    An interesting read, change is inevitable it is just the acceleration that is being driven by the most challenging environment we find ourselves in, which in this case is a positive outcome for conexus.

  2. Avatar
    Wayne Leggett

    A resfreshing development and a logical decision, Colin. I’ve wondered for years why industry magazines keep arriving in the post when, by the time we get them, we have read all of their content online.
    Good decision for both the environment and the balance sheet.

  3. Avatar
    David Dall CFP®

    Colin and team, you justify the decision well. Onwards and upwards.

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