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Case Study

Rethinking the Association Magazine

BizEd Magazine for AACSB International

Association magazines have a challenge: They need to compete with consumer publications for their members’ attention, yet typically they lack the budgets to make their magazine as glitzy. While the articles in an association magazine can be as engaging and informative as their consumer competitors, if someone doesn’t open the publication, that content is a lost opportunity. Additionally, association magazines are created for a readership that is looking to connect beyond the printed page.

Published by AACSB International, BizEd’s readers are deans and faculty from business schools worldwide. The magazine’s competition includes highly regarded publications such as the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company. When we redesigned the publication, we reviewed the budget and allocated resources for original illustrations and photography. Now each issue of BizEd is packed with the work of award-winning illustrators and photographers.

Recognition

AAF/Albany Ad Club Gold and Silver Awards
AM+P General Excellence
FMA Charlie Awards
Folio Ozzie Gold Award and Honorable Mentions
SPD Print Merit Winner

Outcomes

Advertising and reader submissions increased exponentially
Website traffic increased 200%

Award-winning Art Direction

When we redesigned the publication, we focused on original illustrations and photography instead of the former stock imagery heavy direction. Now each issue of BizEd is packed with the work of award-winning illustrators and photographers.

Visual Variety

Along with art-directed imagery, we work with the editors to identify content that can be packaged in more engaging ways. Infographics replace longer, text-only articles for an engaging, accessible read. Stock imagery and supplied photography is used thoughtfully throughout the publication to keep the project within budget.

Meeting Member Needs

But it is no longer enough for magazines to publish monthly or bi-monthly. Readers want and need access to new content daily. This is especially true for an association magazine that keeps its membership up-to-date on the latest news, innovations, and professional issues. The publication website allows AACSB to publish web-only articles, and sharing to social media is just a click away.

The User Experience

This savvy global network of members can also access and search relevant archived content on the digital edition of the publication. The interactive site allows readers to peruse and review articles in multiple ways, from smart searching, to grouping by theme, to reading the full issue. Articles are collated by most popular and related article suggestions are shared when a specific article is selected.

We love working with 2communiqué—especially taking part in its creative process. They approach every article with fresh eyes, distilling the essence of each story into vibrant and often unexpected visuals. They also make us dig deeper, pushing for the best headline and editorial balance. It’s a constant and dynamic collaboration.

Sharon Shinn and Tricia Bisoux, co-editors