Featured Guest: Ms. Ronda Hughes, Circulation Director, Advanstar Communications

Ms. Hughes has been with Advanstar for over 19 years, spending most of those years in circulation management but also has experience in production and fulfillment. Ronda is currently responsible for 17 publications in the Dental, Ophthalmology, Science, Pharmaceutical, and Automotive Markets. She is a member of the BPA Audience Development Advisory Committee (ADAC), and is a BPA certified controlled circulation professional (CCCP).

Q. Do you think the Junk Fax Prevention Act alleviates or further burdens privacy standards for publishers?

A. In my opinion, the Junk Fax Prevention Act re-confirms the importance of following the EBR rules that most publishers, who are still choosing fax broadcasting as an important part of their source mix, were already following. So, I don’t think there were burdens alleviated, but I also don’t think we were further burdened (we just have to pay closer attention to opt-outs and disclaimers).

Q. What is the biggest single piece of advice you would give fellow publishing professionals to comply with the new standards?

A. I would suggest paying closer attention to your opt-outs and making sure there are easy, effective, cost free methods in place to capture the opt-outs, e.g. toll free 24/7 phone number for customers in addition to a fax number and web site available for opting out.

Q. What is the most important item you have learned about how to utilize fax communications effectively?

A. It’s important to adhere to the preferences of your subscribers. Segment your file and fax to those who use the fax option to respond to coverwraps and direct mail pieces. Not only do you have the "established business relationship" with those particular subscribers but they also have given you a reason to believe they prefer faxing as a means of communicating.

Q. In 2005, what, for you, was the biggest new obstacle in the world of circulation?

A. One of my biggest obstacles (but it’s not a "new obstacle") was managing the circulation on magazines with 100% universe coverage, when the universe size in many industries are shrinking. It’s always the battle over not wanting to reduce total circulation numbers but having to deal with volatile markets. Another obstacle is the over use of e-mail files. E-mail addresses are a hot commodity within the publishing world for uses other than subscriptions. This, I believe, has hurt the circulation e-mail response rates.

Q. If you weren’t working in publishing, what profession would you most likely enjoy?

A. I cannot imagine not having a career in publishing (publishing always offers new and exciting challenges and that is why I am completely addicted to this business) but one day I would like to find time to teach part-time or less , at a college level, classes pertaining to marketing or other business/management courses.

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