Tapping the Idea Well: Looking Beyond the Regular Initiative Roster, Too
CHICAGO — Presenters of a session called "25 Great Publishing Ideas in 75 Minutes” at the SNAP conference Monday suggested a number of ways associations can push their magazine forward, including some less predictable and possibly more useful strategies, in addition to the regular roster of podcasts, Webcasts, blogs, and online media kits.
Here is a sample:
- Personalize a membership directory. According to Al Rickard, president of Association, the Self Storage Association ran 2500 copies of their directory separate from the cover, which was printed individually with each member’s name on it.
- Make the editorial calendar into a house ad. This increases author interest, presenters said, while supporting advertising.
- Publish a Turnkey Newsletter for Chapters. Allow local chapters to customize and insert local news. According to presenters, this helps reinforce the importance of each local chapter as well as the national association.
- Create a Web site scavenger hunt. This strategy, they say, can help build traffic on a site, if participants are offered an incentive.
- Combine Two Publications. According to presenters, if an association has more than one publication, combining can allow publishers to pool resources and lower costs while gaining an opportunity to remake the publication and, likely, eliminate a competitor.
- Partner With Competitors. Presenters suggested forming alliances with competitors on the b-to-b side. This can help associations maintain good relationships with trades that are often their members and/or advertisers while allowing both parties to benefit financially.
Many, but not all, association publishers seem already engaged in several of the suggested practices, like creating show dailies and breaking news notifications. In terms of the latter, the trend seems to be moving, overall, towards industry and profession news and away from a focus on association news.
In addition to Ricker, presenters of this session included: Jane Blume, director of communications, International Association of Fire Fighters; Lisa Junker, deputy editor, Association Now Magazine, American Society of Association Executives; and Michelle Russell, editor, Convene magazine, Professional Convention Management Association.