4 Tips to Make Your Association’s Publication a Must-Read

Engagement Audra Hopkins

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly on the hunt for a good read.

And chances are, so are your members. After all, knowledge is power. And with a solid backing of valuable, informational publications, anything is possible.

This is why having a publication for your association is a great addition to your association’s content strategy.

Why? Well, having a publication makes sense. It’s an effective and organized way to deliver industry information to your membership. It can be utilized as a revenue builder and an advertising goldmine. There are so many advantages to an association publication that it’s almost hard to list them all out.

And it shows in the statistics. In Blueline’s article on print media, they discuss important facts about the importance of print publications.

According to the article, 94% of Americans under 25 have read a magazine/publication in the last six months. On top of that, magazines have the highest ROI when it comes to advertising.

There’s a lot to be gained from having a publication attached to your association’s name.

But how do you make sure your publication is actually getting read by your members?

If you’re looking to make an appealing publication that’s a must-read for your members, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going over the best ways to make your association’s publication stand out among the rest.

Keep reading to boost your publication to the top of your members’ summer reading list.

 

Catch attention with a great design

When it comes to getting your members attention, image is everything.

An innovative design is the first part of a successful publication for your association. You want a fresh look to each publication cover that brings your members eyes into the cover and makes them want to turn the page.

So, to get the best cover possible, it might be beneficial to reach out to members for ideas and art that could be contributed to your publication.

This is a win-win situation for both parties. For your association, it allows you to crowdsource image content for your publication. It also gives you an idea of what your members are looking to see in your publication in terms of interesting content.

For your members, it allows them to engage with your association and contribute to its publication, showcasing their own personal work for others in their field to see.

You also need to think about the layout inside of your association’s publication.

In any good publication, there is always a well thought out layout. Typically starting with a table of contents, publications then spread out their articles, advertisements, and images evenly.

This gives the perfect mix of content that will spread out information and keep readers moving through your publication with ease while still honing in on the information inside.

So, if you’re looking to get your members on the first glance, get into a good publication design.

Keep your mission in mind

With every content piece you add to your association’s publication, you always need to make sure it directly reflects what you value most.

What does this mean? Well, you want your publication to be an extension of your association’s mission and purpose. Think of this as the ultimate test to see if your organization is practicing what it preaches.

Think about your association’s mission. Are you looking to promote knowledge to your community? Or, is your association focused on advocacy for its members? There are a variety of goals your association can center around, so you want to make sure to define those goals before you start creating publication content.

Once you figure out what to center your publication around, you need to make sure the content inside perfectly reflects that mission.

For example, if your association is focused on the education of audiences, your articles should include insightful facts and information on whatever it is your looking to promote.

Or, maybe your association focuses on lobbying for its members rights.

With advocacy in mind, your publication should focus on advocating and working for your members. Let them know you’re passionate about them and show them what’s going on in order to make the changes necessary.

By keeping your mission in mind, you can make sure your publication is one that members can stand behind and find valuable.

 

Open up shop for advertising

You want to know one of the best things about your association’s publication? Its ability to make you extra non-dues revenue.

Your publication is prime real estate for advertisement opportunities. If you can find businesses and organizations that fall in line with your association’s mission, you can market your publication to them for ad space.

So, what types of businesses might be interested in taking your association up on this offer?

Think about businesses that you already might have a relationship with. Whether it’s event vendors, sponsors, partnerships, or anything else in between. These connections you already have can be prime customers for your publication’s ad space.

You also want to consider any other companies that have similar target audiences as your association.

Think about it- your association’s publication brings in a unique audience as dedicated readers. For companies looking to appeal to this audience, your association just collected them in one place. It would only make sense for them to want to advertise with your publication.

Once you’ve gathered a good idea of who would benefit from ad space in your publication, you want to reach out and try to sell them on it.

Let companies know the facts about your publication (how many readers it gets per month, what type of people tend to engage, etc). You want to make sure your offer for ad space is one that absolutely cannot refuse.

With the right advertisement plan in mind, your association’s publication could be a source of non-dues revenue you didn’t even know existed.

 

Collaborate with other content creators

Struggling to make ends meet as far as content goes? Consider working with other content creators in your association’s field of interest.

There’s a lot to be gained from a strategic collaboration. For one, it gives you the chance to offer your membership more content than ever before.

It also gives other smaller creators a platform to share their content on. For many content creators, collaborations are a huge benefit. It’s a way to get their work out to audiences, hopefully bringing them more eyes to their content and a portfolio builder.

So, if you’re looking to bring in more quality content for your publication readers, it’s time to start contacting creators.

You can find content creators in your association’s industry by doing some research on topics your association deals with. Try searching keywords your association would typically use (especially keywords you would use if your association runs its own blog)

Strive for an abundance of content for your association’s publication with well strategized content collaborations.

 

With a strong publication under your association’s belt, you can be sure to be the leading knowledge provider in your industry- and attract dedicated readers along the way!

Consider creating a publication and give your association another method of member engagement and non-dues revenue.