Big Idea – Carol Evans
CEO, Working Mother Media
Fresh off its December 2006 acquisition of corporate membership organization Diversity Best Practices, Working Mother Media’s latest initiative involves capitalizing on franchise opportunities. After the acquisition, Working Mother Media shifted its five-year old mission statement, "We Serve Women Boldly", to a more general statement ("Champions of Culture Change") to service a wider audience.
With programs like the Working Mother 100 Best Companies and Best Companies for Women of Color under its belt, Working Mother Media is launching new initiatives including The Best Law Firms for Women and Best Green Companies for America’s Children.
"We build platforms around topics that we know our readers care about and we know our companies care about," says Evans. "Something that has real legs for our audience, and then we make it work for research, events and the magazine."
As the producer of only one actual magazine title, Working Mother relies on these franchise platforms, which include Web initiatives and a huge number of events, to bring in revenues and build the company’s brand recognition throughout the industry.
The franchises are large revenue streams for the company, says Evans. The 100 Best Companies has a $2 million conference and a $2.5 million print issue attached to it, while the Women of Color initiative involved 34 events in 14 markets. The initiative is also set to go global, reaching Brazil in August with plans to hold a Bangalore, India, event in 2008. The law firm and green company projects will achieve that same level of success, says Evans.
"The Best Law Firms for Women initiative generates revenue in a couple of ways. We sell advertising in the magazine and then we have our big luncheon where the law firms buy tables," she says. "Then the firms pay for the benchmarking research." Evans says the luncheon is likely to be converted into a conference in 2008.
Evans hopes to grow her business through acquisitions, whether they be in the events space or the print space. "We built our company from scratch and now that we have these initiatives we can tuck things into those or apply our methodologies to other companies we could buy."
With only one magazine title to focus on, the Working Mother staff can build high profit margin projects around one flagship brand.
Difficult to make a lot of noise in the magazine ad agency world with only one print property.
To create a bigger audience of younger readers online or in print, and an opportunity to get more money from advertisers.
Small company, small staff, one title.