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Challenge: ASAE’s flagship publication, Associations NOW, was due a redesign. Also, the organization realized the magazine must maintain relevance in an increasingly visual- and technology-oriented world.
What they did: Research showed that members liked the magazine, but certain sections were not well-read, and the editorial approach was text-heavy, editor in chief Julie Schoop said. Working with McMurray TMG (until recently, TMG Custom Media), the magazine was reorganized into five sections that correspond with member interest, to allow readers to swiftly find content that appeals to them. Also the magazine now offers shorter articles and more visuals.
An example of this is featuring a person on the cover, much like newsstand business magazines (see bottom photo at right). This is to “elevate and enhance a feeling of community” among association professionals, Shoop said.
A new component is AssociationsNOW.com, a site that offers, among other features, daily news updates written by McMurray TMG staff, in consultation with Shoop and her staff. The site is an acknowledgment that people are getting their information swiftly and from many different sources. Plus the daily updates show how events and pop culture affect associations and vice versa, she noted.
Result: Shoop said response to the redesign and new site is thumbs up. “On the print side, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. They like the new look, and organization and structure ...people can find things easily. I can see that as well with the online pieces. Engagement is happening, people are talking about it on Twitter, sharing stories. We're now in our fifth month, and we have not really seen anything that caused us to think we made a wrong turn here.”