At the SNAP conference today in Chicago, Richard Creighton, principal and co-founder of The Magazine Group, said that association publishers need to look to models "from the other side" in order to create a 360-degree platform to surround members with relevant, authoritative information in the same way that custom publishing surrounds customers.

Creighton suggested association publishers rate themselves in ten categories heavily drawn upon by successful custom publishers to communicate with their target audiences:

1. Print
2. Web site
3. E-newsletter
4. Blog
5. Podcast
6. TV/Video
7. Wikis
8. Mobile
9. Webinars
10. Multiple Languages

A 360-degree platform will widen the reach of an association publisher’s content, which can help bring in new and retain existing members. If monetized, these channels can provide new revenue sources for the association and possibly help increase dues and donations as well as brand awareness. According to Creighton, many associations are already drawing on Webinars and podcasts, but less on more advanced technologies, as in the mobile arena.