Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc. Launches New Magazine for
The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Alexandria, VA—Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc. has worked with the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Memphis, TN, to launch Laboratory Animal Science Professional, a quarterly magazine that debuted in April. Laboratory Animal Science Professional is distributed in print and digital format to AALAS’ 13,000 laboratory animal care professionals, including veterinarians, technicians, research scientist, directors, and more. It consolidates information and updates from two previous newsletters and provides more targeted, practical information for animal science professionals.
“We saw a need to provide our members with more in-depth reporting, case examples, and best practices to guide them in their diverse jobs,” says John Farrar, editor.
Stratton conducted the feasibility study to test the market for the magazine, including reader and advertiser interest research and analysis to identify whether there was sufficient need for the print and digital magazine. It then worked with AALAS staff to develop the budget and business plan for the 2013 launch.
Advertising sales projections have exceeded budgets and the magazine has received wide acclaim from AALAS leaders, members, and the supplier community.
Stratton’s Smart Media Roundtables: The Future of Content Development
At Stratton’s recent Smart Media Roundtable, association publishers and communicators discussed their evolving roles—and the evolving nature of publishing.
Associations are facing a rapidly changing publishing environment and member expectations shaped by influencers from Amazon to the New York Times. To meet those expectations with radically fewer resources than such media giants, association publishers and communicators are shaking up their ingrained beliefs about content strategy and what their jobs entail. These changing views on the core competencies of the association publishing profession were a key topic of discussion at Stratton Publishing & Marketing’s recent Smart Media Roundtable.
Stratton’s Smart Media Roundtable series brings together industry leaders to share “collaborative thinking on today’s critical issues.” This recent session, moderated by Josephine Rossi, Stratton’s Manager, Custom Publishing & Media, featured a lively forum of communicators and publishing executives who weren’t afraid to envision a new and different future for association communications, one where content has no boundaries and is ever-evolving.
Among the big topics discussed at this session on the future of content were these:
Constant experimentation is key to responding to the changing publishing environment. “Our CEO’s edict was that we have to experiment about a third of the time,” said Nathan Nickens, senior director for professional affairs with the Assisted Living Federation of America. “We’ve made lots of mistakes, but we came to a conclusion as an entire team, across all departments, that we were going take lots of risks.”Other attendees also shared stories of online communities and publications launched and shuttered and the lessons learned in the process.
Associations see the value of centralized content strategy, but creating such a strategy can be an overwhelming challenge. “Knowledge management is big and messy,” said Joe Rominiecki, senior editor at the American Society of Association Executives. Coordinating among a variety of departments, many of which have their own timelines and disparate habits related to communications and knowledge sharing, can be an uphill climb. A combination of top-down leadership support and efforts to educate other departments about the benefits of coordinating with the content-development staff seems to hold promise. “Building support in the organization over time has been a grassroots effort for us,” said Maggie McGary, then-online community and social media manager for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, while Nickens predicted that “the future is a dotted line in the org chart to the content people from every department.”
Communicators and publishers need to broaden their skill set to work effectively within the variety of media channels available today. Several participants spoke of the importance of communicators to develop graphics and imagery on-demand for social media content—responsibilities traditionally held by other employees or departments. However, publishers whose skill set is focused on writing and content development don’t necessarily feel prepared to create professional level graphics.
Roundtable participants envisioned a future where association communicators would develop flexible professional skills, allowing them to jump from writing to photography to infographic creation with greater ease. “It’s that mindset of nimbleness—that mindset of ‘I can make it work,’” said Lisa Junker, director of communications for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
“Content is everywhere, and our job is about finding it and filtering it through the various channels,” added Amanda Charney, director of publications for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
While responsibilities are changing, job titles, for the most part, are not. None of the roundtable participants reported new, cross-cutting titles related to content development at their own associations, although some had seen titles like “content developer” or “content strategist” at other organizations. Several attendees indicated concern that “trendier” titles could become career liabilities down the road, if the unusual title made it difficult for a hiring manager to determine what responsibilities a particular job entailed.
Print will not disappear in the immediate future, but its long-term prospects are dependent on evolving reader preferences. Association members continue to express a preference for print, and as long as the financial equation continues to make sense, association and trade publishers will provide that print experience. But even if print readers dwindle, there will still be an audience for credible, well-presented information on niche topics. That information might be provided through a website, a tablet, or some entirely new platform, but the need for knowledge and the desire for engaging storytelling will remain. “It’s not a question of what magazines do, it’s a question of what people’s preferences will be for consumption of information,” said Rominiecki.
Stratton Publishing & Marketing
Named Publisher Learning By Design
Alexandria, VA—Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc. has negotiated the rights to publish Learning By Design from its co-publisher, the National School Boards Association (NSBA). Stratton has partnered with NSBA for more than 20 years on production of the annual supplement to NSBA’s American School Board Journal. In 2005, Stratton took over as co-publisher under a licensing agreement and now owns all rights to the magazine under its own brand and imprimatur.
Learning By Design circulates twice annually to more than 55,000 architects, engineers, school and university facility managers, designers, and others involved in education facility design decisions. Since 2005, Stratton has relaunched the annual supplement, expanding circulation to the post-secondary audience, added a second issue, redesigned the website learningbydesign.biz, and added a digital interactive version and a bimonthly newsletter, Learning By Design E-News. Architects can purchase paid listings in the Fall and Spring issues to showcase their latest school and university facility designs, renovations, landscaping, and green efforts. Over the years, Learning By Design has been honored with numerous awards for design and special focus, including FOLIO:’s Eddie and Ozzie Awards, APEX Award, and American Graphic Design Award.
“We are excited about continuing to enhance Learning By Design as it recognizes and honors innovation in educational design and plan to further expand the brand in the market. Learning By Design is well recognized for its value in illustrating the importance of quality facility design in supporting learning environments and identifying the latest in school design trends. The juried review of submissions in each issue recognizes the most innovative and integrated architectural design at pre-school to 12 facilities and universities and community colleges,” said Publisher Debra Stratton.
Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc. is the leading custom media publisher and strategic consultant, working primarily with associations in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and across the United States. Stratton publishes dozens of magazines and other media for clients, and provides consultation, marketing, and research. Stratton Publishing has worked with hundreds of organizations on strategic efforts to strengthen their communications and publications, enhance offerings, and better engage their audiences.
Alexandria, VA—The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business association, selected Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc. as its new digital content partner to create practical and engaging daily content for its website that targets nearly 400,000 business entrepreneurs. NFIB (www.NFIB.com) is the leading small business association representing small and independent businesses.
Stratton will provide short feature articles each day aimed at providing small business owners practical advice for success in running their businesses. From dynamic marketing tips to operational insights, each article gives entrepreneurs valuable information for running their business. Articles are searchable on the NFIB site, enabling users to quickly find information they need when they need it.
“We’re delighted to be working with Stratton Publishing & Marketing on this digital content development plan and know that their content experts will be able to develop lively and information-filled articles for our members with a fresh look and approach,” says Mark Garzone, Senior Vice President, Marketing, NFIB.
Leading the effort under the direction of President Debra Stratton is Senior Publishing Strategist Angela Brady. Stratton Publishing & Marketing Inc. is the leading custom media partner to associations in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and across the United States. Stratton publishes dozens of magazines and other media for clients, and provides consultation, marketing, and research. Stratton Publishing has worked with hundreds of organizations on strategic efforts to strengthen their communications and publications, enhance offerings, and better engage their audiences.