Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Magazine to Promote Your Historical Society

The Historical Preservation Society of Deerfield had started out with two high school teachers, but over time it had grown to twenty dedicated members and several dozen interested volunteers. What they discovered after an article ran in the metropolitan paper, however, was that there was a huge amount of interest in what they did, simply because they had made so many interested discoveries. They wanted to figure out a way to capitalize on that interest, and perhaps build the society into something that resembled a real institution. But how?

They decided to call on someone they knew who might be in a position to advise them: a salesman at a full service printing company which happened to be located a block from their new location. They called him and they invited him over to see their operation.

The salesmen reviewed their history and was absolutely clear about the approach they had to take: a magazine. A magazine would be a prestigious publication, and only by putting a great deal of effort into it could they reap the benefit: a public which would derive great educational benefit from the project. A magazine would be part of the official historical record, and it would draw the interest of donors and other beneficiaries. It was a way of showing that they were serious about scholarship, and it was a step they needed to take.

Anyone who subscribes to a magazine will admit that she looks forward to the enjoyable routine of the magazine which arrives in the mail. A magazine which really works is one which is both quite familiar and at the same time new each and every time it arrives, because it contains new stories and new ideas and new photo spreads. And so if you are the publisher of a magazine, you know that you have something that people want and look forward to. Why would you want to change that model?

One thing you are aware of is that costs which can be controlled and even reduced allow you to do other things with the money saved. And so with your magazine production, whereas you always want to save money, at the same time you don't want to cheapen the look or the feel of it. There is a balance between cost and look; in the movie industry this is referred to as production values: a film which looks like a lot of money went into sets and costumes has high production values. The ironic thing is that what is being referred to is not the money itself, but the end effect. Did a lot of money go into making that movie? Who knows? Sure looks like it. Must be high production values.

Same thing with magazines. It's the end result that people judge, not the actual costs.

The author, who is associated with Conquest Graphics, is a nationally recognized expert on all aspects of printing, print marketing, the internet and social media. Contact Conquest Graphics for a discussion about using magazines to promote your organization. http://www.conquestgraphics.com/Products/Magazine-Printing-Services

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