5 corporate magazine fundamentals
Recently we wrote a post on why your company needs a print magazine. To summarize, corporate magazines provide your brand with an offline marketing component, build relationships (with customers and employees), provide an opportunity to reinforce your message and are great lead generators.
But, how do you create one?
Creating corporate magazine
We are not going to sugar coat this – creating a corporate magazine is a tough job, but well worth the challenge. Here are a few things you need to consider when creating your magazine in order to achieve success:
Put someone in charge
While the actual creation of the magazine and each issue issue is a team effort, you need an editor with some serious leadership and editorial skills. This person needs to be able to see the big picture (your magazine’s long-term plan) and the little things (missing commas). The person also needs to be able to make the hard decisions – what stays, what goes and what needs to change.
Create a memorable name
A great name is elusive. It is not going to be created in one meeting; it is going to appear after lots of meetings on every subject from design to copy and it will probably come up accidentally. Your magazine’s name should be not only memorable, but also relevant and descriptive.
Once you have ideas for a name, thoroughly research them and have outsiders give you their opinions. You don’t want to unknowing name your magazine after something inappropriate or find out the acronym is unusable.
Plan a year out
You read that correctly. You should plan for a year’s worth of content before even writing your first article. Why? Because you need to know your magazine is sustainable – in terms of content, budget and resources. Additionally, planning ahead means you never miss important content, can plan a series of articles or place teasers for future content in your current issue.
Design a unique, but maintainable cover
Good branding requires consistency, so you don’t want to design a cover style for your first issue that you can’t maintain for all your issues. Of course, your first issue may have a more splashy cover than your other issues, but your audience should get all your issues and be able to tell – with one glance – that they are holding your magazine.
A few example decisions you need to make:
- What fonts you will you always use on the cover?
- Will you use only photographs or graphics? Or a mix?
- What type of paper will the cover be made of?
- Will you put article titles or teasers on the cover?
Test your ideas
Get focus groups together to test out your content and design ideas. In these groups you need to ask the tough questions and be brutally honest with yourself and your team. You need to know what your audience wants, what they are bored of, what catches their eye and what turns them off. Take all of these answers seriously, make edits and test again. You will never please everyone, but you need to please enough people to make your magazine a success.
So now that you know why you need a corporate magazine and what needs to be done, you are ready to start creating. Our best advice is to create a detailed editorial timeline with firm deadlines, and then send it to a printer (like us!) for full mailing fulfillment services.