Friday, September 18, 2009

PPA Shepherd Slaughtered

After just eighteen months in the job, John Shepherd, the PPA CEO has left with immediate effect. He was not a universally popular appointment amongst the great and good of the PPA members from the start, but there were few applicants of merit so the view was he was the best that could be secured.

I don't know what finally did him in but there were rumblings that Shepherd had appointed rather too many former colleagues and some members were unhappy about the closure of the PPA marketing department.

The PPA is a rather quaint thing in the modern media age. When business publishers are as likely to be orgainsing a conference, building a web application or assembling data as they are to be wiriting magazines, the notion of a trade body whose purpose is to promote periodicals seems rather anachronistic. What is needed is a completely fresh approach. Business publishers are as interested in negotiating with google as with the royal mail. Change the PPA name, start admitting members who don't publish magazines. Create an entirely new mission statement that reflects the modern world. Failure to do this will leave the PPA looking increasingly irrelevant to its dwindling membership base.

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