Hundreds of executives and employees of associations gathered at the Washington Plaza hotel in Washington D.C. Wednesday for the annual Society of National Association Publications (SNAP) Management Conference, which tackled topics such as editorial burnout, selling ads by knowing your audience, supercharged growth and building publication brands. LouAnn Sabatier, principal, Sabatier Consulting, told the 30 or so people gathered in her session, "Too Much Content, Too Few Staff, Too Little Time … Keys to Avoiding Editorial Burnout," that having a detailed editorial plan and communicating with supervisors are the keys to improving editorial content.
"Editors must employ smart management strategies to avoid and/or work through a situation where you and your team are more preoccupied with what you can’t do, versus what you can do," she said. To create a positive editorial environmental, editors should alllow their staffs freedom and autonomy, constructive feedback, direction, recognition and rewards.
Also, to avoid burnout, editors should vary workloads and tasks, cross train, and mix and match job functions, she said. "Manage your operation to give editors enough room to be creative and the tools to do it," she added. In a presentation called, "Publications Brands that Sizzle," Debra Bates-Schrott, creative director and principal of the Bates Creative Group, said associations should realize that brands are not a product, an identification or a logo. "It’s a person’s gut feeling," she said. "It’s not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is." Bates-Schrott said brands are built on emotion, intuition and rational.
They are managed, she said, by associations sending the right message and showing consistency in quality to their constituents. How does this apply to publications? "Readers should know that even though you’re an association, you can still deliver fresh and compelling content in your magazines," she said.
Bates-Schrott gave the following advice for building brand in print:
Differentiate from your competition, both visually and editorially.