In January 2017, I led the charge to launch the American Student Dental Association’s flagship magazine, Contour. Previously, ASDA was publishing a tabloid newsletter 10 times each year and a quarterly magazine. The print publications had always been a member benefit. ASDA’s circulation at the time of the transition was about 25,000. I employed the help of ASDA’s Editorial Board, senior management team and the design firm, Chen Design Associates. Over the course of a year, we sunsetted both print publications and launched a new magazine.
A new publication was developed in order to serve ASDA’s members. Through member surveys and focus groups, it was determined that dental students were still interested in consuming print media, but not at the frequency being offered. In order to stay relevant and also update the aesthetic of the print publication, we developed Contour—a perfect-bound magazine delivered to members 10 times each year.
The main goal of the transition was member satisfaction. Surveys were developed to measure satisfaction each year following the initial launch. Another main consideration of the transition was cost and recovering advertising revenue generated from the previous two publications.
I led ASDA’s Editorial Board in developing the content strategy for Contour. We dissected the two print publications that were currently offered and pulled out the best content (as rated by member surveys and focus groups). We then used survey responses to develop fresh content areas for Contour. Many of these areas focused on lifestyle content and feature articles, which appealed to the millennial membership base.
Initial feedback on the publication was positive. Members responded well to the new design and voiced their approval through social media.
If you’re looking to launch a new publication, or revamp an existing one, drop me a line. I’d love to work with your team on developing content strategy and making positive changes for your membership.