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HOLIDAY EDITION • Vol. 12, No. 4


About of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Approximately keep them. Will you be one?





Number of giant helium character balloons in the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.



Amount spent in the United States on day-after-Christmas shopping in 2011.



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 What are the top three U.S. destinations to ring in the New Year?

What was the first year the New Year’s ball dropped in Times Square?

ideas, strategies, and solutions on the business of publishing

Gadget Gifts for Media Pros


he average holiday shopper will spend about $750 on gifts, décor, greeting cards, and more this year, according to the National Retail Federation. And a large chunk of it will probably be spent on high-tech gifts, if the wish lists we’ve seen are any indication. TV, radio, and print ads have been touting everything from Windows 8, to the new Chromebook, to the iPad mini, so we asked our media colleagues what’s on their lists and did a bit of research ourselves on the hot gifts this holiday season. iPad: Yep, the iPad continues to enjoy its status as one of the most-sought-after tech tools. “I have one for work, but I can’t put

 What is the correct term for the special candle used to light the rest of the candles on a menorah at Hanukkah?

Answers on page 2.


Stratton Report


Party Etiquette

 hat Not to W Give the Boss

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my personal stuff on it,” says Lauren Jonas, director of social media and e-messaging for the National Science Teachers Association. “I’m hooked on it and want my own!” The latest version has a new retina display and a super-fast A6X chip. Richard Nelson, senior manager of Dermatology World, the magazine of the American Academy of Dermatology, wants one, too. “The fact that we’re looking at developing an app for the magazine is a great excuse to buy something that I’ll also use to read other magazines!” Don’t forget the iPad Mini, which is also showing up on wish lists. The smaller and perSee GADGET GIFTS, page 3

 How many Christmas tree lots are there in North America?

Techno tools on our readers’ wish lists this season

Planning for Success in 2013 Association publishing and media professionals share their resolutions for the coming year


hile fewer than half of Americans admit to making New Year’s resolutions, many of us use the year end as a time of reflection and planning for the year ahead. We asked several association publishing and media professionals what they learned in 2012 and how those lessons will shape their success in the New Year. Publications need immediate relevancy. “With everything you

produce, you must remember: You are in a fierce battle for people’s time. Each piece of content— whether it be print, web, video, audio, social media—must be crafted [with that in mind],” says Seiche Sanders, executive editor and associate publisher of American Society for Quality’s magazine Quality Progress. “You must be agile, adaptable, and attuned to the voice of your readers and their preferences. Engage them, or they’ll find the information elsewhere.” 2013 Resolution: “There is an emphasis on staying fresh,” says Sanders, who will be introducing new content in new ways, and also retiring others based on reader preference. “I See PLANNING, page 3



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Media Lessons from Holiday Gatherings


lthough the holiday season is filled with joy and abundance, stress and overindulgence are also part of the holiday tableau. As we were thinking about our own holiday plans, we realized that many of the adages we associate with family and friend gatherings could also be applied to our work. That said, here are 10 media lessons for this year’s holiday season: “You can’t please everyone.” You decided to make sweet potato instead of pumpkin pie this year and your nephew pronounced it “gross.” MEDIA TAKEAWAY: Don’t be afraid to try something new just because a small group won’t like it. It’s important to take calculat-



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 2012, Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc.

ed risks now and then, like launching a new magazine app. “Don’t overstay your welcome.” The kids get too rowdy, the house is a mess, and you’re bickering with your brother like you’re both still 12 years old. In other words, it’s time to go home.



Sometimes, a periodical outlives its usefulness. Know when it’s time to drop a floundering newsletter or magazine, so you can invest in something new that will better appeal to your audience. “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” Any host knows that you can’t wait until the last minute to change the sheets, brine the turkey, and mop the floors. If you’re expecting a houseful, start the planning early. MEDIA TAKEAWAY: In any media project, rush jobs lead to unnecessary stress and mistakes. Use editorial and production schedules to plan ahead. Then stick to the schedule to reduce stress and added expense. “Expenditures today could hurt you tomorrow.” Caught up in the frenzy, you spent $500 on Black Friday deals that maybe weren’t such great deals after all. MEDIA TAKEAWAY: If you spend too much on a new project or fail to plan and budget appropriately, banking on new revenue to cover it, you could find yourself in the red. “Say you’re sorry, and move on.” When extended family gets together,




misunderstandings and hurt feelings are inevitable. Just apologize, whether you’re right or wrong, and forge ahead. MEDIA TAKEAWAY: Everyone screws up at some point. You can spend too much time trying to justify your poor decision, or you can just take your knocks, apologize, learn from the mistake, and move forward with a plan for how it won’t happen again. “You don’t have to wear the sweater Aunt Edna knitted for you.” Yes, it’s hideous, but she put hours into it, thoughtfully incorporating images of penguins, your favorite (when you were 9). MEDIA TAKEAWAY: You don’t have to print a bad article even though it’s submitted by a prominent member. Work with the member to create something usable or kindly state that it “doesn’t meet your editorial needs at this time.” “Instead of loosening your pants, stop eating.” Americans are certainly good at overindulging in holiday meals. “Just one more bite!” MEDIA TAKEAWAY: Few publishers can simply add expenses to the budget regardless of revenue. Instead, budget for longterm investments and gradual revenue growth, plus cost savings to stop the bleeding. “Take the time to listen.” You will never regret any time you spend listening to a relative tell you about his or her life. MEDIA TAKEAWAY: Solicit calls from your audience and




take a moment to ask what they like or don’t like about what you’re doing. You might be surprised by what they say. “Variety is the spice of life.” Without violating lesson #1, try to offer something for everyone around the holiday table, like root vegetables for your vegetarian cousin and traditional gravy for your dad. MEDIA TAKEAWAY: In any media offering, it’s important to understand reader demographics and offer a strategic mix of content to meet diverse needs. “Live in the moment.” In the midst of holiday chaos, the days often disappear too quickly before you’re able to experience everything you planned. Maybe you’ll miss the neighborhood tree lighting or the Nutcracker matinee. It’s inevitable. MEDIA TAKEAWAY: At a time when new media come at you faster than Christmas decorations displace Halloween candy, it’s impossible to implement every new tool on the market. Do you what you can and take a moment to enjoy the excitement before moving to the next big thing. Most importantly, take time to relax and reflect on the past year and enjoy some downtime with family and friends. We’ll be doing the same. Happy holidays!



Debra Stratton

What’s New at Stratton your free app today, and let us know if we can create a new app for your publication!

Download the Smart Publishing App Smart Publishing is now available on your iPad via our new free interactive app. Take advantage of ideas, strategies, and pointers for media success in the office or on the go. Visit iTunes to download

Could You Be Our Next Publishing Star? Nominate yourself or a colleague for the 2013 Publishing Trendsetter Award, which recognizes an association professional who has implemented a trailblazing publishing or communications initiative at his or her organization. We also will award up to three

Rising Star Scholars with $1,000 in tuition for professional development. Both programs are sponsored by Stratton’s nonprofit, the Angerosa Research Foundation. The deadline to apply has been extended to January 7, and winners will be announced in February and honored February 15 during the Association TRENDS Salute to Association Excellence at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. To apply, visit www.angerosa

TRIVIA ANSWERS from the front page: 1.Las Vegas, Disney World, and New York City. 2. 1907 3. 15,000. 4 Shamash.

Gadget Gifts

haps more convenient tablet gives you all the features of a regular iPad in a smaller version. Chromebook: The super-light Chromebook laptop, available from a few different manufacturers, bills itself as a “simpler” computer and retails for around $200. With the Chromebook, all your files—photos, documents, videos, etc.—are constantly saved in the cloud via Google Drive. It’s great for people like freelance writer Ramsay McWhirter, who uploads files directly to her

employer’s website. “Although we already have two computers in our home, with two adults using them for work and two children using them for school, we sometimes find ourselves juggling computer time,” she says. “We don’t need more com-

What Not to Give the Boss • Cash and gift cards. Do we really have to say it? Either way, you lose. You’re either too cheap or you’re perceived as overpaid. Instead, consider a donation to a nonprofit.

• Jewelry. Jewelry is a risky gift; it’s taste specific, and can be perceived as too personal or as romantic.

• Political or religious items. Anything you can pick up at the America store at Reagan National Airport is probably a bad idea. Either way, you’ll offend.

• Underpants and other intimate items. Never. Enough said.

• Extravagant gifts. In other words, don’t give your boss an iPad, a TV, a Rolex. It looks like you’re kissing up and makes everyone uncomfortable.



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Upcoming industry events

puter memory—we simply need more access to the web and access to an easy word processing format, which the Chromebook provides.” Windows 8: The latest operating system from Microsoft is designed to take better advantage of tablet computing, near-field communications, and cloud computing. The first thing you’ll notice is the new start screen that’s more personalized for your calendar, Skype, photos, etc. If you’re the type who must have the latest version of everything and you want the capability to share with others pretty much anything you see, then download it now. Virtual Laser Keyboard from Celluon Magic Cube: This keyboard for iPhone, iPad, smartphones, tablets, and any device that operates Bluetooth HID is at the top of Bob Farrace’s wish list. “Celluon released it earlier this year, but Brookstone is offering it at a more reasonable price in time for the holidays,” says Farrace, who is director of communications for the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The device uses a laser beam to generate a full-size laser-projected keyboard that smoothly connects to your mobile devices. Farrace also wants

a Samsung LED Smart TV and the Microsoft Xbox 360 + Kinect. Samsung Galaxy S3: If it’s time to upgrade your smartphone and you’re not the iPhone type, here’s one to consider. The Galaxy has a huge screen, a big battery, a great camera, and lots of software. It comes in 16GB or 32GB versions. Fitbit Zip: This cool device is for the fitness fanatic at the office. The Fitbit, which retails for $60, tracks your steps, distance, and calories burned and then syncs those stats to your computer and smartphone. It’s battery operated and wirelessly transmits data to your iPhone or iPad. Android interconnectivity is coming soon, according to the company’s website.

optimized to maintain a reader’s attention, and “planning for all of the interactivity at the outset of a project is a necessary part of the design process,” she says. 2013 Resolution: “We have

Associations Now as a source of inspiration for interactivity, as well as Martha Stewart Living. “I find myself reading it on my iPad even AFTER I have already read the printed ver-

[Rescheduled] MediaNext Show (formerly Folio: Show) n

Jan. 8-10, 2013, New York City Association TRENDS Salute to Association Excellence n

Feb. 15, 2013, Washington, DC salute ASAE’s 2013 Great Ideas Conference n

March 10-12, 2013 Colorado Springs, Colorado

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want my readers to think of my magazine (and supporting products) the way I do about Association Media & Publishing’s Signature magazine,” she says. “Every issue gives me a few takeaways that I can apply to my work.” Readers want a varied mix of digestible content. “I understand association publications need to deliver meat, but there needs to be a break in page after page of long articles,” says Emily Allen, senior manager, communications & marketing of International Association of Administrative Professionals’ magazine Office Pro. “People are simply not reading. There needs to be a mix.”

2013 Resolution: Allen says she needs to cut feature-length articles down, package content with more graphics and bitesized information, and deliver it to suit reader’s lifestyles. She cites Real Simple as a sound example of effective content delivery. “I need to shorten my main articles or even completely blow-up the book and create something different.” Interactivity has changed the concept of “a page.” “Using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite tool palettes and the Mag+ tools for InDesign was big this year,” says Janelle Welch, Stratton’s senior art director. These offerings have changed her approach to creating a page. Space must be

“Planning for all of the interactivity at the outset of a project is a necessary part of the design process.” —Janelle Welch, senior art director

already launched Stratton’s Smart Publishing newsletter as an interactive app for the iPad,” says Welch. “I hope to use this new tool to make our clients realize their goals next year.” Welch lists American Society of Association Executives’

sion,” she says. “It’s handy to be able to click on something right away to find out more information. Readers—myself included—are so much more demanding these days in a society where instantaneous is the norm.’”


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Holiday Party Etiquette

It’s that time of the year: The office holiday party. While most of us know it’s not wise to drink too much or hover around the shrimp platter during a company function, we scoured the digital media world for some other helpful pointers for enjoying your office shin-dig unscathed. Here are a few of our favorites:


1. Be prepared for small talk. (Reuters)

Even if you are an introvert, try to mingle. Etiquette experts suggest planning a few key talking points ahead of time. We suggest not writing them on your hand.

2. Don’t dance on anything other than the floor. (Marie Claire) We hope this one is self explanatory. 3. Keep your spouse or guest in check. (Women Powering Business blog) Be remembered for your sparkling conversation, not because “your better half went rogue.” 

4. Put away the smartphone. (The Wall Street

Journal) Stick to networking with people in the room, otherwise “it’s as if you just put your hand in their face for a minute.”

5. Take pictures, but ask before posting. (NBC

News) Speaking of smartphones, resist the urge to post potentially compromising photos of your overly competitive colleague, even if you are gunning for a promotion.

6. Forget the gag gifts. ( Even if your

office participates in a “Secret” Santa, the chances for offense are high. Re-gifting last year’s gift isn’t cool either.

7. Have fun. (CBS Money Watch) Despite all the do’s

Wishing You and Yours Happy Holidays & a Prosperous New Year!

5285 Shawnee Road, Suite 510, Alexandria, VA 22312-2334

Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc.



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and don’ts, the point of the party is “Try to enjoy the entertainment, not be the entertainment.” (See number 2.)

Find a Tree

Click on a map to find the closest Christmas tree farm or lot. Pop the Bubbly

How to choose champagne, open the bottle, and more. Plan for Inauguration Day

News, facts, and historical info relating to the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. Get Set for Superbowl XLVII

Updates on the teams, entertainment, and trivia in preparation for the big game.

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Smart Publishing Vol 12 No 4  

Ideas, strategies, and solutions on the business of publishing.

Smart Publishing Vol 12 No 4  

Ideas, strategies, and solutions on the business of publishing.

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