Media Minds: William Jackson

The team at Red Fan Communications works with a number of different media outlets in the local and regional markets that cover a wide variety of topics. One of our favorite publications to stay in touch with is InFluential Magazine, where we read up on the latest lifestyle news, fashion trends, influential people and more.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with InFluential Magazine’s founder and publisher, William Jackson, and ask him a few questions about the magazine and working in the publishing industry.

William filled us in on how he finds the passion and inspiration to curate this magazine that’s “dedicated to the art of living well.”

What makes a good story?

A good story is one that brings to readers, facts presented in a well-written and thoughtful manner, no matter the topic. The choice of words is crucial because they impact the tone and character of an article. If an editorial comes to be viewed as a resource, one can surmise the story is a good one.

Out of all the stories published in InFluential Magazine, which one has stuck out to you the most?

There’s not just one, but I thoroughly enjoy our InNetwork series where we profile “InFluential” people you should know. Though presented on one page, readers are introduced intimately to our featured guests. Our goal is to ensure the topics presented about our profiled individuals are candid, thrilling and informative. Also, we hope our readers come away with techniques they’re able to apply to their own lives and towards the goal of living well.

What inspired you to start your own magazine?

The goal was actually to start a one-page newsletter used to promote my clients in the music business. As I discussed the idea with various family members, friends and colleagues, the one-page grew into a multi-page platform. Since several of those with whom I discussed the idea were pundits in their respective fields, they expressed a desire to write, and the magazine was born.

We believe everyone has a story to tell and InFluential Magazine is a platform that allows us to tell our story, our way!

What were some of the challenges of starting a magazine?

Aside from the usual “business aspects,” there were other equally challenging aspects. The name, for example, was very important to my team. It had to be “alive” and represent the direction in which we planned to go.

Additionally, putting together the right team is extremely integral to success. We have a team of experts in their respective fields who are cohesive and align with the vision of the magazine. My motto is, “one doesn’t need to know everything about everything and certainly won’t be able to.” But, it’s important to involve the people who do.

What has been your favorite issue to work on?

The March/April 2014 issue was our Beauty issue and it featured the work of celebrity photographer, Todd Anthony Tyler. It also featured an exclusive interview with Mr. Tyler, who is one of the nicest people in the industry. I actually met Mr. Tyler on Instagram and simply asked him if we could interview him and feature his work. Without hesitation he said “yes.”

During the course of the exchange, we dealt with Mr. Tyler directly. Though extremely busy doing television, conducting photo shoots and writing editorial columns himself, he also made time for my team. The results were outstanding! The blood, sweat and tears of that issue always bring warm and happy thoughts to my mind.

What's your biggest pet peeve in the publishing world?

Believe it or not, I don’t have many, so this question is quite challenging to answer. In this age of technology and 140 characters, people seem to be getting away from reading impactful content. As such, we have to consider this as we develop our material. This doesn’t quite align with my thought processes at times because I love deep reading and value the power of education.

As a publisher, I hope we don’t lose sight of the power of education, a good book and spoken and written words. I guess, as publishers, it’s our responsibility to ensure that the power of words is not lost.

Why is publishing a magazine rewarding to you?

I enjoy working with my team and enjoy seeing the fruits of our labor. We are extremely busy people with multiple commitments, family and the daily grind of life. But, what a joy it is to see the results of our hard work pay off every two months. I enjoy the manner in which we bring broad ideas to a narrow focus and present, what I believe to be, an amazing product. Even if not one person reads an issue, we can still look at that issue and know we did a superior job.

I think InFluential Magazine allows readers to see who I am as well. I’m not as complex as people might think. But, I am fine-lined, well organized and quite honest, just like InFluential Magazine.

If you could interview one influential person who would it be?

Many people don’t know that I am an accomplished musician and songwriter. One of my favorite composers is Burt Bacharach, the mastermind behind so many beautiful songs, including those by my favorite singer, Ms. Dionne Warwick. It would be amazing to chat with Mr. Bacharach. I would like to learn about his thought process when he composed the music for Anyone Who Had a Heart or Walk On By. What was he hearing? Where was he when the music was brought to life in his head? Oh, what an editorial that would make!

Finish this sentence. William Jackson is...

… really quite simple and very shy. I work hard every day to deal with my shyness because I enjoy people and making them smile. I love my family and hope the legacy I leave is one which they realize that I love them, and the life I’ve chosen to live is a role model for them and many, many others.

We are so pleased to learn from William about what inspires him and how he got his start in publishing so that we can better understand his industry as public relations professionals and as friends of InFluential Magazine. To check out InFluential Magazine and browse the latest issues, visit http://www.influential-magazine.com.

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