The secret to great print publications

The secret to great print publications

David Gale, Publisher, explains why you need to constantly evolve your communication channels to make sure they are still performing, and poses some questions to help you improve.  

Having an association magazine is a major membership benefit. However, it’s important that you don’t let your organisation’s magazine get into a rut.

Like all communication channels, print needs to constantly adapt too. But what do you need to do to make sure you evolve your publication effectively?

Evolution is vital for a thriving employee magazine. Every association magazine is different and every audience has its own unique demands.

But there are several basic questions – elements that must be met if a print publication is to hit the heights.

This doesn’t mean, ‘is it designed well?’, or, ‘does it have enough pictures?’ – but questions aimed directly at strengthening the very foundations of an association magazine.

1. Does the publication have enough people in it?

Simple but often overlooked. Far too many association magazines focus on association news and forget the power of colleagues.

People are interested in other people. Statistics and high-end business news can be overwhelming for readers. Unleash the power of your colleagues and help increase engagement.

2. Does your magazine remind people what the association is all about?

Regardless of size, every business has a story: past, present and future.

How often do you consider these elements when plotting copy or features for the next edition? A printed publication is regarded as a more leisurely read – the ideal time to reinforce an organisation’s visions, values and aspirations.

3. Can employees see opportunities for them in your association?

Out of all the communication channels, print is the one that can inspire employees more than any other.

Print should be seen as a promotional item for a business – highlighting fantastic achievements with which members feel proud to be associated and want to share.

In short, print offers the ideal platform to show the road ahead, and can inspire members to play a key role in the journey.

4. Does the magazine reflect two-way communication happening in your organisation?

Listening. It sounds simple but can we honestly say we do this to the best of our ability?

Social provides the ideal opportunity for member dialogue – and canny magazines need to reflect that feedback.

Seeing their views and opinions being taken seriously by members will only foster membership engagement.

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