Web 2.0 For Dummies
In the course of its history, John Wiley and Sons Inc. has seen 40 presidents come and go. Forty U.S. presidents, that is, in the span of more than 200 years in the publishing business. From humble beginnings in a print shop in Lower Manhattan, through eras of momentous change and extreme economic ups and downs, the company has stuck by its core principles: building relationships and meeting customer needs.
“The overarching goal for us is not about books and journals or the Web, it’s about promoting knowledge and understanding, continuously adapting to change, and meeting the needs of the customer,” says William Pesce, president and chief executive officer. “You need to give them what they want, and satisfy their expectations.”
While keenly aware of its history and heritage, Wiley is by no means stuck in the past. The company is a world leader in the science, technical and medical (STM) book and journal trade, with its February 2007 acquisition of Blackwell Publishing expanding its roster of scholarly, peer-reviewed journals to 1,400. High-profile brands anchoring the company’s professional/trade business include the “For Dummies” self-help series and “Frommer’s” travel guides. Wiley’s higher-education business has proven to be an industry leader in developing integrated, online teaching and learning tools.
Headquartered in Hoboken, N.J., since 2002, with offices in Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia, Wiley reported revenue of just over $1.23 billion in 2007.
“You’ll hear this recurring theme from me about adapting, evolving and changing, which is an important ingredient in Wiley’s success over the past 200 years,” Pesce says. “It’s particularly relevant when we talk about multimedia strategy.”
The Right Tools for the Job
Digitizing content has proven a core strategy for Wiley, though the company does not rush to put simply any materials online. An early leader in moving STM content online, recognizing the Web’s potential for research and discoverability across multiple channels, the company maintains a healthy mix of print and electronic materials across its professional/trade and educational businesses.