Does your mag matter?

Next time the budget-slashers descend on your office, will you be prepared to answer the dreaded question: “So what does the magazine actually accomplish?”

At many institutions, the magazine is one of the last major communication tools on the balance sheet. Every time belts get tightened, there’s more scrutiny about the magazine’s return on investment.

This white paper discusses how to prove the value of your magazine and reshape it into a strategic tool that plays an essential role in addressing organizational priorities.

Mission critical, not optional

Let’s be blunt: Every magazine needs a plan. Defining your mission — and then tailoring the content to drive it — doesn’t mean you’re selling out. Far from it.

Most consumer magazines have clear missions. Successful titles stake out a clear market position through a laserlike focus on pairing target audiences with editorial content. The Economist explains world affairs and economics to smart people, Martha Stewart Living promotes a picture-perfect lifestyle to the style-conscious, Men’s Health brings rock-hard abs to the ab-less.

But at educational institutions, the magazine’s sense of mission is often murky. At some schools the goal seems to be “to produce a magazine because every other school has one.” What kind of reason is that?

Whether you’re launching a major redesign or tweaking an existing publication to keep it fresh, it’s time to get serious about what your magazine can deliver for your institution.

When Zehno works on a magazine project — big or small — we follow a defined process. If you handle this process internally, you can adapt the Zehno steps to refocus your magazine.

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