Association publications have an advantage over the average b-to-b or consumer magazine: They have an entire organization to support them, with a variety of resources to use to their advantage. Here are a few tips on how to score a hat trick: Within your association, your niche market, and the magazine industry in general.
• Look at non-traditional sources when launching an event. Diabetes Forecast’s main annual event is a walk to benefit diabetes research. Use your market as a source for interesting ideas that will catch the attention of advertisers, sponsors and readers.
• Monetize your affinity partners. All associations have suppliers of various services (car services, insurance, hotels, etc.). Try to convert these suppliers into advertisers.
• Remember there are no rules for association magazines. You can serve either the industry or serve the association. Either is okay, but be sure to have a defined mission and be able to empirically justify the fiscal soundness of the position.
• Be sure you are using all of your association tools editorially, including circulation information, member information, surveys and market research.
• Incorporate a section on your Web site that contains editorial information on a controversial subject. Create a comment section to start a dialogue between members/readers, increasing interactivity which will bring traffic to the site daily.