Magazine for Prisoners Grows Through Word of Mouth, MySpace
Founders Target Nike as Potential Advertiser
Since its launch in June, Prisonworld magazine—created to form and serve a community of incarcerated readers—has doubled in page size, from 16 for the first to 32 for the next, and estimates a readership of 250,000. The magazine is shipped to more than 300 institutions in the country and has garnered 3,000 subscribers in the general public, somewhat by default.
Prisonworld, which plans to put out seven issues this year, was founded by husband/wife team Rufus and Jenny Triplett from their
Their marketing plan was divided into phases, as they reached out to a limited number of institutions at a time, sending three copies of the magazine to each for their libraries. But word spread quickly through various sources—inmates, prison staff, links to the Prisonworld Web site from institution-related pages, and Prisonworld’s MySpace page (which boasts 521 friends)—and they soon began receiving requests from other institutions, as well as potential readers—and even marketers—in the general public.
“Prison is a forgotten society that has it’s own market base and market share,” says Jenny. She points out that there are
Securing advertisers is the phase the Triplett’s are in now, and they look at brands like Nike, KSwiss and others in the greeting card and legal services industries as potentials. Upcoming plans also include transferring to high-quality coated paper and extending the brand with public service DVDs.
Despite interest from the general public, the Tripletts say the magazine will remain an institution magazine, aimed at prisoners, though anyone can order the magazine online for $3.90 per issue. Its June through October issues are already sold out.