“Print is dead” goes the popular saying in journalism these days. With the rise (and rise) of the online media, the power of the print media continues to diminish daily.
In entertainment circles, publicists hustle to get their clients a feature or a story on the hottest blogs and websites. In a time not too long ago these publicists would have been begging editors of celebrity magazines to give their client a shot at the cover of their magazine.
Gone are those days and the narrative has changed. The power of social media has allowed celebrities determine how they are seen in public and how they interact with their fans. In this time of Instagram and SnapChat, a celebrity with millions of followers on both platforms can interact with his or her fans without a middle man and can determine the flow of information also.
So with the openness social media has brought about some stars are asking why they need to be on the cover of a magazine. On February 3, 2016 sensational rap-god Kanye West posted a fake Rolling Stone magazine cover and revealed it was shot by Tyler The Creator. The iconic magazine quickly disassociated itself from the cover.
While some rebellious stars poke fun at the business of lasing the cover of a magazine, many others are still pursuing it. Despite social media, magazine covers is still a big business and pretty much a big deal.
The power of an endorsement still hold so much weight in the business. When a magazine puts any celebrity on its front cover that means the publication is co-signing or endorsing that star. Yes you can be trending on Twitter but is Vogue calling you the next big thing? Did Genevieve Magazine hail you as the new ‘Queen of Nollywood?‘ These are the tangibles that social media cannot deliver- cosigns from institutions in the entertainment business.
There is no celebrity in the world that would think twice about landing the cover of TIME Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year‘ edition. Even DJ Khaled who is the SnapChat King makes a big fuss when he is on the cover of Bloomberg or Rolling Stone.
Magazines have the ability to sell you to a crowd that might just be different from your core fan base. That’s why celebrities crave for them because they want more fans to build their brand on.
Landing a magazine cover is still a thing of glamour and adds a nice gloss to a celebrity’s bio. Being featured on Huffington Post ten times doesn’t exactly stand out as making the front cover of GQ seven times. Social media is so mainstream these days that it has become cliché even for celebrities. There is something so cool and vintage about celebrities on magazine covers. It has that old and steady appeal that is not common place.
Social media might be the dictator of narratives now but for celebrities who want to stand out they instruct their publicist to land them a magazine cover.