The Potato System magazine has been published since 2009. In February 2020, the magazine made a powerful leap into the Internet space: it launched a new modern multilingual website, opened groups for communicating with readers in social networks and instant messengers. About why these steps were taken and what plans the publication is making for the future, in an interview with the Development Director Viktor Kovalev.
- Has the magazine's traffic increased since the launch of the new website?
- Yes, and the increase immediately turned out to be much higher than we had planned: at first, our site was visited by about 2 thousand people a month. By the end of July, the number of visitors began to reach 8 thousand people a day, and apparently, we will not stop there.
- What are the reasons for such attention from readers?
- Readers are attracted by up-to-date, constantly updated information, convenient site. In addition, materials published on the magazine's portal are now automatically translated into all languages of the world, that is, our publication began to work not only for Russian-speaking users.
- What is it for? Will the publication stop being domestic soon?
- Approximately 80% of the materials published on the website of the "Potato System" magazine are devoted to Russian potato growing. But we believe (and Yandex Metrica confirms this opinion) that everything that we tell about Russia (a country that is one of the largest potato producers in the world) is interesting not only to domestic readers. And secondly, the topic of growing potatoes is international by definition, despite the difference in climate, technology, etc. Articles posted on our website are read and reprinted in Kazakhstan, Argentina, Canada, the Netherlands, even in South Africa, and this is great. The magazine brings together professionals from all over the world.
In the future, we plan to write more about the experience and development of Russian regions, but at the same time we will not disregard the achievements of foreign potato growers.
- And for what purpose have so many pages on social networks been created? The magazine is currently represented on Facebook, VK, Odnoklassniki, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Telegram.
- We want to be closer to our readers. See their reaction to published materials, take on board topics that really excite them. There are many sites, because our audience is heterogeneous, everyone has their own channel for communication.
Moreover, many of these groups have already become independent "media". The Agronomy channel in Telegram, for example, is used to exchange information on cultivation technology, experienced agronomists give advice to beginners, the intervention of a moderator from the magazine is no longer required. The "Marketplace" in the same Telegram serves as a meeting place for agricultural producers and wholesale buyers.
- Let's get back to the printed version of the publication. In 2015, the magazine announced a free subscription campaign for potato farms in Russia. Since then, dozens of households from all over the country have joined the readership. Will this project be continued?
- Yes, absolutely. Despite the fact that we duplicate all the materials of the printed magazine on the site, the “paper” edition remains very popular. Subscription applications come from all over the country, from Kaliningrad to the Far East, and we are very grateful to the magazine's advertisers, who, by investing in the magazine, give us the opportunity to send newsletters.
I will say more: we would be happy to expand this project (the editorial office is regularly asked to send the magazine to neighboring countries: Kazakhstan, Belarus), if there are sponsoring companies willing to pay the shipping costs. In my opinion, this is a promising topic for cooperation: together with the magazines, it would be possible to send flyers with useful information for potato growers, samples of seeds, fertilizers, plant protection products. If someone is interested and responds, I will be happy to discuss the details.
- What tasks does the publication set for itself now?
- We publish an information and analytical magazine. The main task of the publication is to be useful to the reader. And now I am not only talking about the fact that articles in the journal should be as practical as possible so that people can use the experience of successful agricultural producers or the advice of scientists in real life.
The magazine can serve as a tool for the development of each farm, you just need to know how to use it. For example, the editors constantly hold campaigns calling on potato growers to tell about the history of their enterprises, to publish photographs of the fields. We post all this information free of charge, since it is important for the magazine to be “on the crest of the wave”, to provide readers with up-to-date information about the situation in the country. And for farms, such publications are an opportunity to visually show how professionally they work, what cool potatoes they grow, increase the visibility of their brand and, most likely, find new buyers for their products, conclude lucrative supply contracts with retail chains or processing enterprises. So far, there are not many who want to tell about themselves, but I am sure that this is temporary. Moreover, our journalists will always help with information processing.
- And what about the achievement of new financial results?
- This is also important, the situation for the development of media, especially “paper”, remains rather difficult. The euro is growing, which affects the cost of printing. But on the other hand, due to the pandemic, the number of exhibitions in the world has sharply decreased, which for many companies served as the main platforms for presenting their products and services. Our magazine, which has an extensive mailing base, can serve as a successful alternative and help convey all the necessary information to the profile audience.
- How many issues of the magazine will be released in 2020?
- Two. The first (in fact, this is the magazine # 3, 2020) will be published by September 10, we are collecting materials for it literally two more weeks. The release date of the second (journal No. 4, 2020) is November 17, materials for it will be accepted until October 30. You can contact the editorial board by phone:
+7 967 712 0202 Viktor Kovalev, Development Director
+7 910 381 47 76 Alla Shibalova, Brand Manager
+ 7 910 870 61 83 Olga Maksaeva, Editor-in-Chief