Publishing in Buffalo? Or Custom Publishing in Bangalore?

Understanding the world of Custom Media and Outsourcing.  Is content outsourcing for the better, or for worse? It’s your call.

Last year, American president Barack Obama unveiled a new proposal to end tax breaks for American companies that shipped jobs overseas to countries like India, China, and the rest of South Asia. Many people cheered the move, but it was criticised by several others like the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times. Leaving the over-discussed fuss and the technicalities around the most hit sectors like BPO, let’s take a look at the world of media outsourcing.

Media outsourcing is definitely happening. And many articles that most Americans or people from other countries assume to be truly patriotic may actually be written from a time zone that’s five and a half hours ahead of GMT a.k.a. India. It’s been happening even before the term outsourcing was commonly used. In the world of media, we have a sugar-coated word to replace the word “outsourcing”. It’s called Freelancing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a full scale, well structured Bangalore based media house that is producing magazines for an American company or a few individuals who work in a common room. It’s always called Freelancing in media terms.

Every time I interact with a curious client outside of India, five times out of ten, the client’s wary of any prospective associations. Media jobs in India have a history of being tagged with low quality and suitable for nothing more than technical content or user manuals. But that’s all in the past. The new Indian media house is anything but inferior. Flip through the pages of any magazine published by a reputed media house in India, and big chances are, you’re going to be impressed. Let’s not get into talking about fly-by companies that are launched by regular writers who couldn’t hold on to their job in the first place, and decide to jump into the bandwagon of launching a media house. Of course, they suck! I’m talking about Indian companies where their publications or other media ventures do the talking.

If you’re a media professional in the UK or the USA and have cherished a dream of launching your own publication house, or if you’re the head of corporate communications for your company and want to launch a custom publication but don’t have the funds for a full blown team, what are you going to do about it?

Think outsourcing? For the price of a couple of good writers, you could have a glossy publication printed, published and delivered on schedule to your office, all the way from India. And not many people know the story but you. So is outsourced media publishing a good option to test the waters? One may disagree, keeping in mind the speculation about loss of prospective jobs within their own country. But think about it, if not for hushed-up custom content outsourcing, would some companies have launched their magazines or in-house publications in the first place? I think not.

And let’s not even get to talking about media houses that have been suffering due to the economic slowdown. Outsourcing of Custom Content from Bangalore may seem like a job-stealer. But in the long run, as a company grows, it inevitably has to create more job openings in its own country too. This has been discussed with respect to the BPO industry in several other blogs, but I couldn’t see too many pages about outsourcing and editorial content.

Editorial Content outsourcing has been happening for a while, and it is only going to increase in future. No more is the world a small place. With the advent of social media and networking, it’s no surprise to see a company based in London or New York with employees from all over the world, sitting at home in their pjs and working on a project.

But is it the right approach to having your own publication. Well, that thought, I’ll leave to you. To each their own!