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SUMMER 2013 • Vol. 13, No. 2

Wearable Technology Debuts: is targeted for release early next year, with a $1,500 price tag.

Google Glass





Ratio of U.S. adults who own a tablet computer.

61% Percentage of U.S. social media users who read email marketing messages.




W  hat does RWD stand for?

In how many days did Boston magazine pull together its now famous May 2013 cover and cover story, “We Will Finish the Race?” W  hat magazine was awarded best “Tablet Magazine” honors by the Association of Magazine Editors in the 2013 National Magazine Awards?

Answers on page 2.

INSIDE 2 3 5

ideas, strategies, and solutions on the business of publishing  E l e c t r o n i c M e d i a

Expected social ad spending for 2013.

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Stratton Report Social Media and the Law Calendar & What’s New PMS 2627

Mind the App

Reflections from publishers who’ve launched a native application


ore than 220 million Americans use mobile apps each month, according to mobile analytics firm Flurry. So regardless of whether your members are Team Android or Team Apple, there’s a good chance they will soon expect mobile access to your organization’s content. So what’s the next step? We recently caught up with several association professionals who have already launched a publication app to share their insights on the creation process.

Tap Member Interests Understanding what readers really want is key to confident decision making in unchartered waters. A digital assessment audit or feasibility study can help you glean valuable data about your readers’ preferences, including what devices they are using, which is a critical factor when selecting development tools and delivery options, says Josephine Rossi, manager, custom media and publishing, at Stratton. “Many providers and See MIND THE APP, page 4 Design and Redesigns

Flex Your Design Muscle

Boost readership with compelling aesthetics


hile many publications seek to engage today’s time-challenged readers by focusing on succinct, intelligent content, it’s just as essential to incorporate a strong design. “If there’s great writing but no one reads it, what’s the point?” asks Rick Pullen, editor-in-chief of Leader’s Edge, the magazine of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers. Strong design pulls readers into an article and entices them to read. See Design Muscle, page 3


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Stratton report

Making the Case for Print, Yet Again For many associations, the value of ink on paper is powerful, not passé


’m as much on the digital wave as most professionals. I love my iPad and iPhone, and have my Kindle for travel. I regularly read and post on Facebook and LinkedIn. But I get my daily news in print from the Washington Post, delivered to my door each day. And I enjoy the longer reads that my magazine subscriptions provide. When my decades-old subscription to the print version of Newsweek converted to digital, I didn’t renew because I prefer reading longer news analyses and interpretations in print magazines.


I’m not alone. While an all-digital approach makes sense for some, our research continues to show that most association members prefer their magazines and journals in print. They enjoy digital supplements for their mobility and quick bites of information, but they recognize the many benefits of print magazines. So when we’re asked by association executives and their boards whether they should convert to all-digital and save the cost of printing and postage, we help them make the case for continuing to offer the print, assuming research supports it. Agreed, print isn’t cheap, but there is some undeniable value that is worth considering as you explore the equation.

Tangible Value Start your own subscription. Visit to sign up to receive Stratton’s Smart Publishing. Or contact Josephine Rossi at jrossi@stratton


Publishing Stratton’s Smart Publishing is designed to provide publishers, editors, marketers, and other business professionals with strategies to meet today’s print and electronic media challenges. The publication is free. Publisher: Debra J. Stratton Contributing Editors: Angela Brady, Lia Dangelico, Josephine Rossi, Christine Umbrell Design: Janelle Welch Stratton Headquarters 5285 Shawnee Road, Suite 510 Alexandria, VA 22312-2334 Phone: 703.914.9200 Fax: 703.914.6777 Angerosa Research Foundation © Copyright 2013, Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc.

If you’ve recently been grilled by board members savvy with iPads and smartphones on why you haven’t converted to all-digital, consider some of the values of print in making your case: • Print is generally preferred for in-depth reading. While quick news updates are great in e-newsletters and other electronic communications, especially when accessible on mobile devices, the printed magazine/journal is preferred for in-depth articles. In Stratton surveys, generally 50 percent or more of association members prefer print publications, supplemented with digital. Ask your own members. • For advertising-supported magazines, converting to all-digital may reduce or even eliminate your revenue base. While many association publishers are selling digital ads, rates are substantially less than print ads and it’s been tough convincing advertisers to pay for digital versions at anything but drastically reduced rates. For many, print

is where the revenue resides. And, remember, even in a digital publication, you’re still incurring expenses for writing, editing, layout/design, and more, so while you may save on printing/postage, you still need significant revenue to cover other costs. • Image and branding are best conveyed in print. When you’re trying to build an organization’s brand and present a professional image, print publications win the day. And if you circulate your publication on Capitol Hill to prospects and other influential audiences, print can convey value, image,

When we’re asked by association executives and their boards whether they should convert to all-digital and save the cost of printing and postage, we help them make the case for continuing to offer the print, assuming research supports it.

and tangible benefit more effectively than digital. • Print magazines offer valuable portability for travel. How many times have you heard your members say they read your flagship magazine or journal on planes and trains? It’s easy to toss a print publication in a briefcase and read it while commuting when wifi isn’t an option. • Readability is often improved with print; design-

ers can provide so many entry points to encourage readership and engage busy professionals. This is not always the case for quick online reads, though it’s a nut everyone is still trying to crack. A recent study from Deloitte Media Consumer found that 75 percent of respondents said they still prefer to read magazines in print. • Digital technology can be clunky. Page-turning replicas of print and other digital options are great for searching archives for particular issues and topics, but most professionals find them awkward to read for longer articles. Until digital catches up and offers truly readable and affordable iPad versions, print versions will be preferred by many when it comes to professional reading.

Desirable Medium So, by all means, invest in digital to supplement content delivery and keep innovating to improve the online reader experience, but continue to invest in your print publications, as well. Print publications continue to provide measurable value and benefits for many professional and consumer audiences and convey a message far beyond the words on the page. As magazine guru Samir Husni notes in a recent blog post (, “Magazines are one of the best forms of ‘living’ technology ever created. They are not just ink on paper; they are living, moving, and breathing objects of desire, my desire and everyone else’s desires.”

Debra Stratton

Trivia Answers from the front page: 1. Responsive web design 2. Three days. 3. National Geographic.

Strat ton’s

Design Muscle

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from page 1


What Makes Good Design?

Good design is “any design that says to the readers: You belong here. You should be reading us,” explains Carla Kalogeridis, editorial director, Association Media & Publishing, which publishes Signature magazine. “Design is like a welcome mat, welcoming the reader into the piece. Design can communicate the mood and tone of the piece.” When a magazine lands in a reader’s hands for the first time, an arresting cover design can be the difference between the reader picking up the magazine and that reader tossing it on the bottom of the to-do pile.“It’s important to have a stunning cover that grabs your readers’ attention,” says Pullen. “Great design is one way to get readers’ attention in today’s media-saturated environment.” Within individual articles, “strong design is needed to create order on the page and a path for your eye to follow. You have to think about what you want the reader to notice first,” says Janelle Welch, senior art director at Stratton. Each of these association publishers has led staffs in achieving award-winning magazine design. Ultimately, they agree, great design is about creativity and knowing your audience—an imperative component of any high-quality publication.

Consider these tips for compelling layouts: Match the publication’s design to your audience. Leader’s Edge readers are sophisticated, well-paid commercial insurance brokers. “They’re high-powered and they move quickly, so we need to grab their attention,” says Pullen. The new square design of Leader’s Edge does just that, setting the magazine apart from all of the other insurance publications with a radical look introduced in January. Get rid of the clichés. Art should relate to the actual story, not to a witty headline that doesn’t match the content, says Pullen. Add in “billboards.” Any elements that help to draw readers’ attention—such as art, headlines, and at-a-glance boxes—are considered “billboards” by Pullen. Such features can entice the audience to start reading an article, then good writing will convince them to continue. Consider size and proportion. Pay attention to the size of each element on the page, including headlines, copy, and graphical elements—“interspersed with white space to give the eye a rest,” says Welch. Incorporate creative use of type. Interesting typography for headlines or within opening spreads can be a low-cost way to draw readers into an article, says Kalogeridis. Make stock art your own. Both Welch and Signature’s art director frequently use stock art as a base image and then manipulate it to better tie into the story, increasing the relevance factor for readers. Be dramatic yet simple. “Simple can be dramatic if it’s done right,” explains Pullen. “We don’t even include coverlines on our cover anymore; they take away from the drama of the cover.” Brand your publication. Integrate your print design into your website and digital versions to build your brand, “so every time readers receive your publication, they know the content is geared toward them,” explains Kalogeridis.

Digital Content

Social Media and the Law

What you don’t know could hurt you


y now, your organization probably engages in several forms of social media—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or maybe your own social forum. But if you don’t have a formal policy in place establishing guidelines for everyone who contributes, your organization might be at risk. To ensure you’re protected, follow these four rules when creating and posting social media content:

1 Publish a “Terms of Use” or “Social Networking Policy.”

In addition to posting a social media policy for staff, develop a policy governing the use by third parties, such as non-employees, members, donors, and the general public, says Jefferson C. Glassie, attorney with WhitefordTaylorPreston. Be sure your policy is tied to your overall social media strategy. “The job of the policy is simply to guide your people on their behaviors and activities in social media,” says Maddie Grant, CAE, web strategist, association practice for ICF Ironworks. “A policy focused on what and how to do social media is preferable to a long list of what you don’t want people to do.”

2 Monitor your platforms. Ensure everyone who’s posting to

your account is abiding by your rules, and remove thirdparty postings that could constitute defamation, misrepresentation, and the like, advises Glassie. Third-party users also should be prohibited from disclosing proprietary, confidential, or legally privileged information.

3 Watch for copyrighted material. Always cite when quoting someone else, and get permission to use any photos you include in your postings, says Grant. Be sure to maintain the confidentiality you have promised.

4 Clarify who is posting. Authenticity and transparency are

driving factors in social media, according to Grant. If you post on behalf of your organization, make sure that’s apparent. And if an individual comments to a blog or Facebook post, make sure it’s stated that the post is a personal opinion (versus the organization’s official stance).


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Mind the App


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tools allow you to publish your app to multiple marketplaces, but not all. Knowing where your readers are can help narrow your options.” A mobile app was a natural progression for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), according to Sarah Lawler, marketing manager. After introducing a digital edition of its bimonthly flagship magazine Community College Journal three years ago, the association began developing an app to serve an increasingly digital/mobile member base in 2012. The Journal app launched for Kindle, Apple, and Android devices this May. The value of introducing digital offerings, says Lawler, “is now we have a wealth of data [analytics from our digital edition and app] that helps identify hot topics and articles. Planning ahead for these new offerings enables some associations to maintain a sharp communications strategy. “The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) makes sizeable investments into content each year, according to Jamison Gosselin, senior vice president, marketing & communications at ALFA, which launched an app for its flagship magazine Senior Living Executive for Apple, Android, and Kindle devices earlier this year. “Introducing the Senior Living Executive magazine mobile app is part of our longterm strategy of making the magazine as accessible as possible for our member company executives,” he says. “[With print, digital, and mobile offerings,] we now have more flexibility than ever to offer more

value to readers and advertisers, while reducing costs.”

Pinch Expectations Bumps in the road are inevitable, say leaders. The approval process, for example, can be unpredictable—taking hours to approve an app at times, and weeks at others. “Don’t promise a launch date,” warns Richard Nelson, senior manager of Dermatology World, the magazine of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). A mobile app is on AAD’s wish list, but is still in early planning stages. If you’re working with a small staff that is already juggling other responsibilities, it’s easy for new or “bonus” projects to get pushed aside. AACC worked with an outside provider to develop its app. The process went smoothly —until approvals. Android approved the app in one week, but Apple’s approval took three months, baffling staff and developers alike. Part of the delay: AACC’s offerings are memberor subscriber-only, so Apple required a specific log-in page on the website that was tricky to develop. If the app is intended to generate revenue at some point, consider offering open access to your content initially in order to build your download and open rates. As more individuals interact with the app, opportunities for new ad dollars will continue to grow.

Launch a Marketing Plan Even after careful preparation, the app won’t take off on its own. ALFA’s promotional plan for the app includes an eye-catching bellyband and article in the

From top left: ALFA’s Senior Living Executive app, AACC’s Community College Journal app, and (below) Stratton’s Smart Publishing app.

printed May/June issue of Senior Living Executive, banner ads, a press release, and visibility at the association’s annual conference through signage, an expo booth, and distribution of the May/ June issue of the magazine in attendee conference bags. AACC also plans to crosspromote its app with advertising and enhancements in the print and digital editions of the journal; in Community Times, its online newspaper; on its website

and through emails; and via its active Twitter and LinkedIn communities. “I’m interested in learning more ways to use the app to our advantage… and adopting more of a mobile mindset,” says Lawler. But she’s also careful not to “dilute” the user experience with too many bells and whistles. “I want to keep readers focused on the content, sharing it with colleagues, continually coming back.”

quick clicks Download social media stats

Research, blogs, and stats on social media by industry experts. Grow your online audience

Software/tools to encourage reader engagement on your own website or to share your content on other sites. Book a better business flight

New travel site helps you select the perfect flight based on “quality” of flight—personal space, age of plane, customer service, etc.

Strat ton’s

S m a r t

What’s New at Stratton

Debra Stratton Recognized by Industry On May 29, President Debra Stratton was honored with the Women Who Advance Excellence in Associations Industry Partner of the Year Award during ASAE’s In Honor of Women program at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC. The awards program gives special recognition to female association executives and industry partners who have set the standard of excellence in their professional lives through their leadership, mentoring, and career advancement. Brava, Debra! Stratton Launches AALAS Magazine Laboratory Animal Science Professional debuted in print and digital format in April and will be distributed quarterly to the 13,000 members at the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. (AALAS). Stratton conducted a feasibility study and worked with AALAS staff to develop the budget and business plan for the publication. Advertising sales projections have exceeded budgets, and the magazine has received wide acclaim from AALAS leaders, members, and the supplier community. On the Road On June 4-5, Stratton will be exhibiting at ASAE’s Marketing, Membership, and Communications Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Stop by Booth 113 and discover how our Distinctively Different approach can help you! Stratton also is a sponsor of this year’s Association Media & Publishing (AM&P) Annual Meeting, June 9-11, at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, DC. Visit us at

P u b l i s h i n g

Booth 312 at the expo hall, and try your hand at our bean bag game to find out how “strategic” you really are! And be sure to attend on June 10 for two events: • At noon, the Angerosa Research Foundation will acknowledge and award $1,000 educational scholarships to its Rising Star scholars during the conference’s Networking Luncheon. Honorees include Philip George, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association; Sandy Laycox, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems; Brendan McEntee, American Society of Addiction Medicine; and Debra Woodfork, Association of Corporate Counsel.

calendar Upcoming industry events ASAE Marketing, Membership, and Communications Conference


• At 3:30 pm, Josephine Rossi, Stratton’s manager, customer publishing & media, will facilitate a session called “Social Media Etiquette: What Would Miss Manners Do?” Hear frank advice for developing the finer points of a social media policy and establishing best practices for professional and personal use. Panelists include Lauren Precker from AARP Services Inc.; Lauren Jonas from National Science Teachers Association; Maddie Grant, CAE from ICF Ironworks; and Marla Dalton, CAE, from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Can’t make the “Social Etiquette” session at AM&P? Angela Brady, senior consultant and publishing strategist at Stratton, will lead a similar session on Tuesday, August 6, at ASAE’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Sharing the platform with Brady will be Wendy Mann from the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association and Nathan Nickens from the Assisted Living Federation of America. While you’re there, don’t miss “Gold Rush: Strike It Rich with Innovative, GameChanging Publications & E-Media” on Sunday, August 4, at 1:30 pm. President Debra Stratton will lead a panel discussion on how association professionals have mined statistics to drive big decisions and dynamic changes to their communications strategies. Panelist include Karl Ely, ASAE; John Farrar, AALAS; Debra McGuire, Michigan

Get Interactive—Download the Smart Publishing App for your iPad today.

June 4-5, Washington, DC 2013 Association Media & Publishing Annual Meeting


June 9-11, Washington, DC Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives Annual Meeting


July 16-18, Providence, Rhode Island n

ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

August 3-6, Atlanta

Academy of Family Physicians; and Eleanore Tapscott, The Endocrine Society. Stratton Welcomes Summer Interns The Stratton team has two new additions this summer. Kyle O’Conner, a senior at James Madison University, has been hired as a publications intern, focusing on editing, production, and design projects for Stratton’s magazines and other publications. Ellen Hansen, a junior at George Mason University, has joined as a marketing intern. Hansen works primarily on LEARNING BY DESIGN, the biannual publication featuring innovative eductional facility designs published by Stratton. Welcome Kyle and Ellen!


Strat ton’s

Idea Swap

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Where and when do you do your and what inspires you? “My metro commute to and from work (total travel time both ways is about an hour and 20 minutes) is an opportunity for me to clear my head. In the mornings, I use that time to focus on at least one key creative problem. It’s also a great time to unplug and focus on the things happening around me, as this can often provide inspiration in its simplest form. In the evenings, I do a mental debrief and assess what ‘feeling’ I got at the end of a design project. “Whether good, bad, or in between, those feelings provide me an opportunity to learn and share tactics with others, which might help inspire creativity and innovation. Having a mentor is also a great way to gain creative inspiration. A mentor can challenge your thinking, ask questions, and provide invaluable perspective.” Debra Woodfork Production and Design Manager Association of Corporate Counsel

best thinking

“The most creative ideas usually come to me by complete surprise—while watching an episode of a totally unrelated television show, running around the playground with my toddler, or just relaxing before I retire for the evening. When it’s time to hunker down and do something creative, I turn on some music—usually an album from the vault or something experimental and weird.” Amanda Charney Director of Publications International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions

“My best thinking is when I’m with our members. Whether it’s with volunteers at a working meeting or with attendees at a national event, I seem to come up with something new when I’m around them. Their excitement and passion for ASDA inspires me to think outside the box. Plus, it’s great satisfaction to be able to ask them right there what they think and build on the ideas we create.” Cheryl Wilson Communications Manager American Student Dental Association

brain·storm·ing noun

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Stratton's Smart Publishing  

Ideas, strategies, and solutions on the business of publishing

Stratton's Smart Publishing  

Ideas, strategies, and solutions on the business of publishing

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