The greatest area of growth in publishing isn’t what most would consider publishing at all. It lies within companies of almost every size, operating in all sorts of other sectors from automotive to healthcare to banking and beyond. All of them began publishing on their own as a business activity.
This publishing is either internal (e.g. training manuals and workbooks, internal documentation) or external (e.g. marketing collateral, white papers, case studies), but either way, this “corporate publishing” requires companies to confront many of the same challenges normal publishers face. Digital Book World—the gathering of the wide world of publishing, has incorporated this new area of innovation within publishing into the conference program.
10 Great Corporate Publishers
Here are 10 companies that are great examples of corporate publishing, which collectively illustrate how widespread this practice has become. And if you and your company are doing similar work – publishing books, magazines, audiobooks, podcasts or other material in support of your organization in innovative ways.
- Stripe – Stripe is a payment processing company based in Silicon Valley. In 2018, the company introduced Stripe Press, which publishes books the company and its CEO, Patrick Collison, find to be of interest. The company has taken a lot of pride in this publishing function that is now within the company, producing very high-quality physical books that have routinely been well reviewed and received.
- Southwest Airlines – Southwest Airlines is the world’s largest low-cost airline carrier. The company also owns and operates something called Southwest Airlines University, a large training arm of the company which publishes more content than many publishers do.
- IBM (International Business Machines) – IBM is one of the largest, most well-known technology companies in the world, based out of New York. They are also a large publisher, owning IBM Press, which has partnered with Pearson to publish a wide range of books aimed at professionals as well as academia.
- Mayo Clinic – Mayo Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center based in Rochester, Minn., and generally regarded as a premiere healthcare thought leader and institution. Mayo Clinic’s Global Business Solutions arm features the organization’s portfolio of original content, which it makes available to other organizations through a variety of methods, including direct API access. Mayo Clinic also pioneered the concept of using voice as a method of delivery of healthcare information, debuting its “First Aid” Alexa skill in 2017. Mayo Clinic also has an entire website devoted to public-facing publications.
- Airbnb – Airbnb is a Silicon Valley-based hospitality company which provides an online marketplace for lodging and travel accommodations. The company publishes a high-quality travel magazine (called Airbnb Magazine) for which they sell subscriptions for six issues annually for $18.
- Casper – Casper – yes, the mattress company – “publishes and emotionally supports” a magazine called Woolly, which in their own words, is “a curious exploration of comfort, wellness and modern life.” The magazine, which is primarily an online publication, also has a 96-page printed volume that is available for sale for $12.
- Goldman Sachs – Goldman Sachs is perhaps the most well-known investment bank and financial services company in the world, based in New York City. In a more new-media type of corporate publishing example, Goldman Sachs produces what they call Goldman Sachs Insights, which encompasses video interviews and conference proceedings, and Exchanges at Goldman Sachs, the company’s podcast which has been running since 2014.
- NASA – NASA, which stands for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is the agency of the U.S. government which oversees aeronautics and aerospace research, along with our civilian space program. The organization publishes an immense amount of material each year, from Tech Briefs which provide information NASA has learned in the process of its own research, to digital books commemorating key missions and findings, to quarterly newsletters and other publications designed to promote the activities and overall importance of space exploration.
- Kickstarter – Kickstarter is a public-benefit corporation based in New York, which has the stated mission of helping bring creative projects to life. Since 2009, the company has helped fund the creation and distribution of over 15,000 books belonging to all sorts of people and third-party organizations. They are so involved in publishing that they have hired a director of publishing, and produce their own upcoming publishing conference called The Next Page.
- Museum of Modern Art – The Museum of Modern Art, located in midtown Manhattan, is one of the most influential and largest museums of modern art in the world. It is also a publisher, producing everything from exquisite hardcover tomes to vanguard interactive digital content – over 1,200 online and currently available – through MoMA Publications.
Corporate Publishing Can Alter Your Financial Picture
With publishing tools being ubiquitous and low-cost, corporate publishing will only continue to grow. And what has previously been done by medium and large firms in publishing their own content is increasingly available to small businesses and startups too.
Taking the time to think through what core messages your company wants to communicate and what medium is best for sharing those messages will allow you to take advantage of this new world of corporate publishing. Even one strong piece of content created by your company can significantly alter your financial picture. Give it a try!