Magazines. Definitely not dead, although others would say differently. But, if not done right, with the right audience in mind and the right messaging for that audience, they’re more of a time waster than a brand booster. At least that’s my two cents.
A quick history on this particular mag. Transforming Lives had always been an alumni magazine created by the college without a clear purpose and goal in mind, meaning there were no call to actions, no opportunity to go online to give or become involved, no real measurement of who was even reading the dang thing. And let me tell you…it was not cheap to make, not cheap to print and not cheap to mail.
I transitioned the magazine into an impact piece that showcased and highlighted the achievements of college faculty conducting cutting-edge and meaningful research, teaching and preparing education students for the changed profession, and offering community service and jump-start opportunities to kids locally, regionally and even nationally. Our new purpose? To build our reputation among our peers, attract highly qualified faculty, and demonstrate to key legislators the impact our college was making on the state of Texas (to aid in increased funding). Our new audience? Peer Colleges of Education across the country, key state and federal legislators in our district and those serving on higher education and public education committees, and engaged stakeholders (usually through a history of giving to the college).
As project lead, I conceptualized our new path with the magazine, curated the strategic content and managed my team to produce this inaugural issue. Feature stories followed a main theme, “Helping school-aged children be successful — physically, emotionally and intellectually.”
Very happy with the final result.
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