The Editorial Corner

Editor’s newsletter – DI Energi’s Annual Magazine 2016

Each year sees growth in exports of Danish energy technology and the theme this year is precisely that, export. We invite selected leaders from the energy industry to have their say, those who, on a day to day basis, have a finger on the pulse of the export markets. We ask them about their challenges and expectations with regard to exports. At the same time we ask them to comment on whether the successful climate agreement reached at COP21 in Paris, offers the promise of even better times ahead for Danish exports of energy technology and know-how.

By Jesper With, editor at DI Energi’s Annual Magazine 2016

Welcome to the special magazine, which will be published in conjunction with DI Energi’s anniversary in April 2016.

At First Purple we have the pleasure of being behind the special magazine that invites a number of players from the energy industry to share their experiences and expectations of the international markets for energy technology.

The special magazine is distributed through numerous channels to the public and private sectors and politicians as well as at Folkemødet (the People’s Political Festival) and in connection with a series of events in 2016. The participants at the Anniversary event will be the first to receive a copy.

This year the special magazine focuses on the export of Danish energy technology, advice and services within the energy sector. For example, we take a close look at Germany as a major export market and provide an insight into how Danish renewable energy technology and intelligent energy solutions are extremely successful in our neighbouring country. We do this by presenting some of the players and inviting them to share their experiences and expectations. We also visit Hamburg’s HafenCity – a new city district by the harbour with energy supply solutions, which largely bear the mark of Danish know-how with regard to energy technology.

DI Energi’s members form the backbone of the energy technology adventure, which year-on-year grows in importance for Denmark. As Dansk Industri’s Sector Director, Troels Ranis says: “The energy industry’s exports amounted to almost DKK 75 billion in 2014. This is an impressive figure, and it tells how important our sector is to Danish society.”

In this year’s special magazine, the reader comes close to some of the players who are helping to put a Danish imprint on the development of international energy technology and who are contributing to the continuing growth in Danish exports of energy technology, advice and services.

As editor of the special magazine, together with journalists, photographer and layout artists, I am already well under way with organising the content. We combine a powerful mix of articles consisting of interviews, features and background articles and a presentation of the latest figures for the energy industry’s exports.

We present articles  where the reader meets leaders from the Danish energy sector. This year, we invite leaders to have their say, in particular those who are responsible for the respective company’s export markets and which therefore have a finger on the pulse of some of Danish energy technology’s largest export markets. In addition to focusing on Germany, we are also looking closely at the USA.

Furthermore, the content of the special magazine comes about in close cooperation with key employees of DI Energi, so that we are continuously able to ensure that, as far as possible, the special magazine supports the theme of the Anniversary, and that all those involved in DI Energi’s Anniversary, see the special magazine as an inspiring extra contribution to the Anniversary event. We have therefore asked several business leaders and DI Energi’s Sector Director, Troels Ranis to comment on what expectations they have for continued growth in exports, following on from the successful COP21 agreement in Paris.

We are also looking closely at the potential for growth of Danish district heating and cooling technology and know-how  in the USA. In line with a shift towards greener and more energy-efficient solutions in the USA, the Americans are looking at e.g. Danish energy supply solutions.  In addition, the USA has major growth in investments in renewable energy solutions, where Denmark has much to contribute.

All in all, our aim is to inform readers about the opportunities and challenges of the energy industry out in the export markets. We aim to create a special magazine, which the reader will want to keep long after DI Energi’s Anniversary 2016 is over.

Our articles are written by experienced journalists who are specialists in the fields of climate and energy. We also value strong imagery which closely interacts with the articles. At First Purple we work together with photographer Lars Just, one of the country’s most influential press photographers.  Among other things, Lars has a background in politics, and he has his own strong ability to create stunning images, and he is our guarantee that the picture pages in the special magazine will be elevated into the premier league. You can look forward to that and much more in DI Energi’s special magazine 2016.

The Editorial Corner

Editor’s Newsletter – The Confederation of Danish Enterprise’s Annual Magazine 2016

Welcome to the special magazine which forms the framework of the Confederation of Danish Enterprise’s Anniversary 2016

By Lars Bo Axelholm, editor of Danish Chamber of Commerce Annual Magazine 2015

Once again this year, we at First Purple have the pleasure of being behind the special magazine which sets the scene for the Confederation of Danish Enterprise’s Anniversary.

The special magazine will be distributed via numerous channels to the public and private sectors and politicians, as well as at Folkemødet (the People’s Political Festival) and a series of events in 2016. The participants at the Anniversary event will obviously receive a copy.

As usual the special magazine will go into depth and offer a range of articles worthy of debate, providing readers with a better understanding and knowledge of the year’s Anniversary theme, which in 2016 is digitalization and its impact on companies’ business models.

As editor of the special magazine, together with the staff of journalists, photographer and layout artists, I am already well underway with organizing the content. It is inherently a bit of a puzzle, and we are doing our utmost to bring together a powerful blend with regard to content. Portraits, features and background articles are some of the items we have in the pipeline.

The idea is e.g. that we offer articles where the reader is given the opportunity to meet selected key persons from the Danish business sector, and hear about their experiences of digitalization. We examine what digitalization means for front line management.
The aim is to give the reader an insight into the reaction of the very best in the Danish business sector and how they respond to the stark reality of everyday life, where the only constant is change.
Furthermore, the content of the special magazine comes about in close cooperation with key employees of the Confederation of Danish Enterprise, so that we are continuously able to ensure that, as far as possible, the special magazine supports the theme day, and that all those involved in the Confederation of Danish Enterprise’s Anniversary, see the special magazine as a valuable contribution.

One of today’s major topics of conversation at the coffee machine is the concept of disruption, and this is something we at the special magazine, want to shine the spotlight on. Disruption conceals development, where the company suddenly experiences competition from an unexpected quarter. When new players in the field can completely change the business model thanks to new technological possibilities. The best known examples of disruptive technologies are obviously players like Uber and Airbnb. But does development stop here? The special magazine examines what the new digital opportunities mean for the companies’ business models.

In this way, the special magazine gives the reader a greater understanding of the digital reality and hopefully we evoke food for thought. Perhaps there will also be room for something to make you smile along the way. In any case, we aim to create a special magazine which the reader will want to keep long after the Confederation of Danish Enterprise’s Anniversary 2016 has passed.

We utilise a small number of the most talented journalistic ‘craftsmen’ for assembling the content, writing the articles and taking the most powerful images. I would particularly like to emphasise that we at First Purple work together with photographer Lars Just, one of the country’s most influential press photographers. Among other things, Lars has a background in politics, and he has his own strong ability to create stunning images, and he is our guarantee that the picture pages in the special magazine will be elevated into the premier league. You can look forward to that and much more in the Confederation of Danish Enterprise’s Anniversary, Annual Magazine 2016.

The Editorial Corner

…nuances in iris

You know what it’s like when somebody tells you a boring story. In a flat tone of voice and the same perspective, without colour and contrast, where you quickly drift away mentally and think about what you are going to do at work tomorrow. It is an art to tell a good story that captures listeners in the same way as it is an art to write a good adventure.

This is also the case with photography.

By photojournalist Lars Just, photographer at the annual magazine 2015 from FSR – Danish Auditors

Photography becomes boring if all the photos are taken from the same distance and perspective. If, as the photographer, you just stand, without kneeling down, and zoom in, instead of moving in closer. Photography communicates more than you understand, and it is important not to underestimate the reader’s visual level of abstraction, and talk down to them in order to emphasise a message. There are lines in a face and nuances in the iris. And if you just set out to explore a portrait, there is more between the lines than in an entire novel.

In the annual magazine, “Virksomheder viser Vejen til Vækst” (Companies show the Road to Growth) from FSR – Danish Auditors managed to create a wide variation through the magazine’s five articles. The imagery was nuanced from studio photography to portrait and reporting, and the readers were not just faced with a series of portraits of static, smiling directors.

Instead, they were invited on a visual journey of discovery from the Danish woodlands at Præstø to the unbroken horizon of the North Sea. They saw the light shining down on Smartpage Director, Anders Ebdrup and came up close to Business and Growth Minister, Troels Lund Poulsen. From spring green, to sand coloured and black/white, readers were greeted with colourful and varied imagery through all five magazine articles. That’s how you tell a good story in pictures.

Experience the annual magazine from FSR – Danish Auditors

The Editorial Corner

Taking a photo

By Photojournalist Lars Just, photographer for the Kanonen Fund – I think about the sun

You do not usually think about it, but photography is by definition full of negative words. Words that indicate that as a photographer I take from other people, without giving anything back. I shoot an picture and capture a moment.
It is the exception that proves the rule, but on rare occasions something happens that turns this upside down.

In May we went with First Purple to Greenland to photograph vulnerable young people the children’s home Orpigaq, in cooperation with the Kanonen Fund. After we photographed a portrait of each of them, we put them in front of the young people and asked them to say what they saw. Words and sensations flowed slowly together and became sentences which they eventually wrote by hand under each photograph.

When the portrait series was published, we encouraged people to send the young people a greeting. There were over a hundred e-mails. People wrote how they had experienced failure, but had moved on. Business people offered fishing rods, companies offered money and the young people from the orphanage were invited to Odense, Aarhus and Copenhagen.

It was a very touching and moving experience, and one of those times where photography came to life. But it was also one of the few times as a photographer where we were able to give something back.

And not only take from other people.

You can see the portrait series at Information’s photoblog or the Photo Book produced by First Purple.


The Editorial Corner

Reflections of an editor after the storm

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By Lyn Harrison, editor of Offshore Wind Denmark 2015 The project brief demanded a magazine that would meet two primary goals. It was to serve as an impressive international showcase for the Danish offshore wind industry, with a shelf-life to the end of 2015. And it was to inspire politicians with success stories of how a broad industry collaboration was reducing the cost of offshore wind power. As editor I mentally added a third goal. To achieve those aims, the magazine would first have to attract and engage the intended audience. What was needed was well targeted content that pressed the right buttons in party-political circles, yet written in a way that would interest and inform a sophisticated international wind industry audience. Great visual presentation would heighten the chances of the words being read. Nothing less than truly journalistic editorial, attractively packaged in a well tried mix of story-telling, interviews and factual reporting, would do the job. Maintenance of the magazine’s integrity, however, would require vigilant elimination of any hint of lobbying bias, including the removal of sound bites fashioned by the industry’s public relations professionals. I anticipated heated arguments ahead and frequent use of my best persuasive skills. As it turned out, First Purple and the two Danish wind industry organisations commissioning the magazine needed little persuasion. Planning meetings well ahead of production allowed us to learn to trust one another. By establishing early ground rules we cut the risk of last minute snap decisions that are so often detrimental to quality. Development of a detailed content plan that meets the client’s approval is a testing task for any editor of a commissioned publication. My focus was on what’s new, what are the latest challenges, and what solutions can the industry offer. Striking the right balance between the wishes of two separate clients and the editor’s journalistic instincts, finding common ground and agreeing on what not to include all takes time. Even when a plan is agreed, flexibility is essential. Clients that trust the editor to change the editorial to fit changing circumstances make possible the art of the impossible and facilitate cutting-edge content. As editor I liaised closely with First Purple to create and steer a team of writers, photographers and production professionals, working from four countries on two continents, before forging the resulting text, images and design into a cohesive whole that at each stage won the clients’ approval. Few of the team members actually met one another in person, but sound editorial control meant that a strong team spirit prevailed nonetheless. By all accounts, Offshore Wind Denmark met the project brief and I’m proud to have been associated with the publication. Our clients even told us the magazine exceeded their expectations. Any doubts about the benefits of print over digital for achieving the project’s aims were dispelled by the end product, which quickly demonstrated its value, both for readers and advertisers. As a physical product the magazine has impact. Page by page it takes readers on a unique voyage through Denmark’s offshore wind seascape. Its widespread distribution, including at a major industry event in Copenhagen, means the publication will serve its purpose for months to come. That point was well proved when our graphic designer was handed a copy of the magazine along with his coffee when flying back to Esbjerg after the Copenhagen event. Several of his co-passengers were observed to be deeply engrossed in the story of Offshore Wind Denmark: A United Industry Thinking Big.   The good, the bad and the essential Best surprise (1): A superb working relationship with the clients in what were occasionally difficult and stressful circumstances. Best surprise (2): Very few meetings. Just two planning meetings and one production meeting with the graphic designer. (I’m excluding the celebratory team dinner hosted by First Purple after publication). Worst surprise: The occasion that our costly star photographer, cleared for a day’s photo shoot that was highly weather dependent, was refused site access on arrival at the industrial site. Biggest frustration: The refusal of public relations departments at companies who were the beneficiaries and backers of the publication to facilitate interviews with their senior officials. Last word: Keep a sense of humour at all times, no matter what transpires.


Follow this link to read Offshore Wind Denmark

The Editorial Corner

Three clear conditions that must be met to create effective communication

By Bent Sorensen, editor of the DI Energy annual magazine 2015

News value, credibility and new knowledge for the reader. These are the three clear conditions that must be met to create effective communication.

The magazines that First Purple Publishing produces have an extra challenge as they are so-called “push media”, where the recipients of the magazines have neither asked for the magazines or paid for them. It just drops through their letterbox – either as a in package in itself or together with a newspaper or a different magazine.

This creates increased requirements for meeting the above three conditions. Everything else being equal, readers will be more likely to read a magazine – or a newspaper for that matter – if they have themselves ordered and paid for it.

The magazine “New Reality – New Energy”, produced for DI Energy, was clearly focused on the need to meet the criteria for a magazine that was not only widely distributed but was also actually read by the recipients. The magazine was to be published for DI Energy’s Annual Day.

Let us look at news value first. Right from when the magazine was planned, the goal was that we should have a solo news item with the latest 2014 figures for exports of energy technology. The news should have a prominent place on the front cover of the magazine and would be announced the same day as the magazine was published. They worked on the numbers right up until the print start and the news value of the export figures did not disappoint. 2014 was a good year for exporters of energy technology, as the total foreign sales reached nearly DKK 75 billion with a rise of over 10% in 2013.

Then there is credibility. Recipients of communication are very quick to spot if the content is too one-sided or too much like advertising. The first step is to ensure a clear distinction between editorial content and ads. Advertisers cannot influence the content of the magazines and ads must not be confused in form and content with editorial content. Next, it is important to ensure that the contents of the articles represent different points of view. With DI Energy this was achieved both with an interview with the then Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Rasmus Helveg Petersen, and the environmental economics adviser Eirik S. Amundsen. Two sources who in their own ways both question the prevailing attitudes in the industry.

Finally, there is new knowledge, which helps readers increase their understanding of the subject of the magazine. Here it is important that the journalists who work on the magazine have a good knowledge of the area. In the magazine for DI Energy, the main writer was climate and energy journalist Jesper With, who has many years of experience in the field and a large network of sources. Alone and in collaboration with DI Energy, he dug up stories that presented both new and surprising knowledge of the energy sector. For example, an article on biofuels reveals that in Denmark we get more than twice as much energy from biofuels as from wind energy. Another article with the American technology expert Ramaz Naam revealed that the price of solar power will shortly come down so far that it will be able to compete on an equal footing with fossil fuels.

Through conscious work with news value, credibility and new knowledge, the readers of the magazine from DI Energy were thus better equipped to understand the Danish energy sector. And then you have achieved the goal of the communication.


Follow this link for reading the DI Energy annual magazine 2015

The Editorial Corner

A question of the right photo

Putting together a magazine such as the the Danish Chamber of Commerce special magazine is a challenging task. There are many factors you have to bear in mind if you want to give readers a good experience. One of the most important factors is the work in creating exactly the right photos.

By Lars Bo Axelholm, editor of the Danish Chamber of Commerce annual magazine 2015

There are many factors that must be taken into account when planning and producing a delightful magazine. Of course, the stories need to be current, interesting and well-written. There should be short, quick stories, and articles that are a little longer, where there is the chance to go deeper into a particularly important issue. But one of the most important conditions that there must be 100% control over is the choice of the right photos.

It is said that a picture tells a thousand words. Whether there is any scientific evidence for this saying, I personally doubt, but there can be no doubt that powerful and immediate pictures are an absolute must if we want to create a first-class magazine.

After all, in the first place it is the picture that captures our attention. Is the picture interesting? Is it a person or a situation that causes us to pauses as we browse through the magazine? It is only when the picture has caught our attention that as readers we continue to read the headline and the article itself.

And this is precisely the printed magazine’s great strength, here there is the chance to give the reader a surprise. Pictures in print – maybe spread over a double magazine page – provide a completely different reader experience than the pictures we are used to seeing when we read our news online. To put it in a few words: Powerful pictures are the magazine’s great strength.

At First Purple we draw on some of the country’s best photographers when taking photos for the magazines, and of course this was also the case with the Danish Chamber of Commerce special magazine.

Photographers Lars Just and Ulrik Jantzen both have a solid reputation for providing first-class photos when they are sent on an assignment.

It is natural that in magazines such as the Danish Chamber of Commerce special magazine it is often sources from the Danish business community who will be giving their opinions. This means that we interview executives, researchers and others who typically work in an office. And this gives the photographers something of a challenge when they need to take an exciting picture to accompany the article. For to be honest, a picture of an executive against the wall of a house is not the most exciting eye-catcher.

At First Purple we spend a lot of time in the production process discussing how the photographer can get the best pictures from a photo assignment. Preparation is incredibly important as there is rarely time for much experimentation on the job.

Naturally, our sources are busy people who are not able to take an entire day off to take part in a photo session. Often there is only 30 minutes to an hour available and this naturally presents the photographer with a challenge: how do you get an exciting shot of a director which arouses our curiosity when you also have very little time available? So it is crucial that the photographer and editor have discussed beforehand what the story is about, who they should take pictures of, what options the location may offer and of course how the picture can underpin the story.

In addition to the fantastic cover images with Danish Chamber of Commerce Director Jens Klarskov, there are three particular photos from the Danish Chamber of Commerce special magazine that I think deserve special mention.

Director Eva Berneke from KMD is a very important source for the magazine’s story, but also a very busy person, so photographer Ulrik Jantzen only had a little time to create an exciting image that would present Eva Berneke in the best possible way. At the same time, as editor I wanted the image to stand out a little, so that it is not just ‘another’ portrait of a director. And this is just what talented photographers such as Ulrik Jantzen can do. Of course I will leave it up to the reader to judge the result, which can be seen on pages 16-17 of the magazine.

Photographer Lars Just also has a special talent to think outside the box and shoot creative solutions. We have several examples of this in the magazine.

For the story about Robocat, which had positive experiences with crowd-funding, we needed some good photos of the director Willy Wu, who is interviewed in the magazine. But Robocat’s office is just as photogenic as many other offices: That is, creative people working in front of their computers. It is not the most exciting thing to take a photo of. So we chose to photograph Willy Wu among crowds of people on Købmagergade in Copenhagen. See the photo on page 27. The idea was that the crowd of people around the director should symbolize the “crowd” who are helping to finance Robocat’s success. Some people might think that it is a little trite, but nonetheless, Lars Just created a dazzling portrait.

A very good example illustrating that the director does not need to appear in the picture in a crisp suit and blue tie is the photo of CEO Mikkel Holm Sorensen from the consultancy /KLUX. The picture can be seen on pages 12-13 of the magazine.

Beforehand the assignment was a bit of a puzzle for the editors. For concepts such as Big Data and data analysis are not exactly the things that create the greatest ideas for interesting photos. But by allowing the CEO to ‘play’ by a big fence at the metro construction on Kg. Nytorv, we got exactly the different kind of photo that helps to lift both the article and the magazine up into the super league.


Follow this link for reading the Danish Chamber of Commerce annual magazine 2015