Harvard’s Irreverent Lifestyle Mag Survives Freshman Year
With its September/October issue, 02138 — the much-hyped, non-affiliated, bi-monthly lifestyle magazine for Harvard alumni — turns one, touting double-digit ad revenue growth, doubled circulation (to 100,000) and credibility.
“The hardest thing in the first year,” says publisher Meredith Kopit, “was to be recognized as important to the community — to prove that the magazine is here to stay and that we have a business concept with great application.”
Kopit attributes the title’s success to its “basic concept — that institutions and their surrounding communities have an impact on people, and those people want to engage with one another.” The concept, she says, is easy to leverage with advertisers. For 02138 — whose readership has what Kopit calls “a clear role in society” and a “collective impact on the world” — those advertisers include luxury brands like Polo Ralph Lauren and British Airways.
In its second year, 02138 plans to transition their Web site into “much more of a destination” than it is now, with only a small percentage of content unique from the magazine. The transformed site will give readers a chance to comment, read more, and exchange information with one another, Kopit says. The magazine has also invested in additional marketing, sales, advertising, art, and editorial staff, including new executive editor and former George staffer Richard Bradley.