Association magazines face the challenge of competing with consumer publications for their members’ attention, however, they typically lack the budgets to make their magazines as attractive. While an association’s articles can be as engaging and informative as those of its consumer competitors, that content is a lost opportunity if the publication is unopened. This is especially true since association magazines are created for a readership that is looking to connect beyond the printed page.
Published by AACSB International, BizEd’s readers were deans and faculty from business schools worldwide. The magazine’s competition included highly regarded publications such as the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company.
To transform BizEd into a visually enticing magazine, we packed it with original artwork by award-winning illustrators and photographers. We also repackaged the content, using infographics to replace longer, text-only articles with more engaging and accessible reads. To keep the project within budget, stock imagery and supplied photography were used thoughtfully throughout the publication.
While it is an important member benefit, a print-only magazine is no longer enough; readers want and need daily access to new content. The digital edition of BizEd allowed its savvy global network of members to peruse and review articles in multiple ways, including smart searching, grouping by theme, and reading the full issue. The interactive site also provided readers with access to relevant archived content.
The print edition of BizEd was published through June 2020 when it went digital only. In 2021 a decision was made to fold it into AACSB insights. This is an unfortunate example of a lack of strategic planning at an association.
Recognition: AAF/Capital Region Gold and Silver Awards, AM+P General Excellence, FMA Charlie Gold Awards, Folio Ozzie Gold Award and Honorable Mentions, SPD Print Merit Winner. Outcomes: Advertising and reader submissions increased exponentially; website traffic increased 200 percent.