A Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed on IFP Media publisher, David Markey, at the 2017 Irish Magazine Awards. Irish Farmers Monthly, an IFP Media flagship title – launched in 1975 – also celebrated success at the annual event, winning Digital Product of the Year for its website, e-zine and app.
Mr Markey embarked on his magazine business adventure in 1975 and, today, IFP Media is one of the largest B2B publishing houses in Ireland. In accepting his award, Mr Markey said: “When starting the business, I had no business model, but I did realise that people made businesses successful and, from the start, I surrounded myself with talented people.”
He added that, one of the keys to the company’s success over the past four decades has been its determination to expand the concept of agricultural publishing and, furthermore, to extend beyond that. In 1988, Mr Markey established an overseas business partnership that led to the distribution of its Irishfood title across 10 markets, including China and the Middle East. “Our success has not come overnight, but is the result of careful planning and incrementally building our network and services.”
Mr Markey commended the magazine industry’s tenacity, adaptability and endurance. “For many, 2008 was your first experience of a recession. You experienced, in my opinion, the toughest recession in generations. Ireland has now restored its competitiveness and adapted to the new reality. The biggest vote of confidence in our future has come from global corporate business, with Google, LinkedIn and Facebook opening offices in Dublin,” he said.
“The advent of these online giants has created new challenges for the media. The magazine sector has had to evolve during the past 10 years. I believe that a huge opportunity lies ahead for our industry – that our best days are ahead of us.
"Like Ireland, the magazine sector has taken some heavy hits over the years, but all of us are here, tonight, still standing. There is a simple reason for this. We are a sector that has always punched above its weight. We are now at a critical point where confidence in the magazine sector is returning and we need to embrace it.”
IFP Media took home two additional awards on the night: Business Magazine of the Year for GP Ireland, the official magazine of the National Association of General Practitioners and B2B Editor of the Year for Irishfood magazine.
IFP Media continues to expand its business and, in 2018, is launching two new divisions: Content Hub and Full House Events. Commenting on the expansion, IFP Media CEO, Rebecca Markey, said: “IFP Media has a wealth of experience in content creation and our new Content Hub division will build on that and expand the range of services we offer industry in Ireland. We are completing the circle with an events division, which means IFP Media can deliver a full suite of communications, design and event services to clients. We are extremely excited about the future of the business and delighted with the recognition of our work to date.”