Tag: design

56 take-aways from #MMCon10 and #AssnMediaPub

Last week Networkers attended both the ASAE Membership and Marketing Conference and the Association Media & Publishing annual conference, to share and learn with the association industry. Here’s 56 reasons it was time well spent:


1. Trust and integrity are crucial to connecting with a brand. People care about your organization’s values, so let them know what you value most.

2. Marketers, consider how you can align your products with social movements and initiatives to have a greater impact.

3. What does your association brand mean to your members? Market? Space? Constituencies?

4. Magazines are still, and always will be, great brand builders. That can only happen when the content is valuable.

5. Every organization decision should focus on quality, brand and relevance.


6. Don’t be afraid to look at archetypes for your publication — titles in a similar genre or with a similar audience — for ideas about where you can improve.

7. Consistency, quality and dominance should be consistent from cover to cover regardless of illustration, photo, etc. That clear cover strategy helps brand the magazine.

8. Think about design and content as a cohesive unit.

9. When it comes to a redesign, the goal is to work for the reader. It’s not about personal choice.

10. Design isn’t a production function. It’s an integral part of how you communicate to your members.

11. Redesign for a reason.

12. A redesign cannot happen without considering content changes. Every aspect of your content and message should be evaluated and decisions about design and content should be made together.

13. Identify the stakeholders and make sure they are included early in the redesign process.

14. Stay focused on the original goals and intent of a redesign. Do not dwell or nitpick on the minutia. Every decision made should be because of the original intentions and goals.

15. Design is not personal. Design decisions are made because of an organization’s standards and goals, as well as particulars of a piece. Red may not be your favorite color, but if the communication warrants red, we will use it.


16. It’s no longer about selling just the market. Sell around content. Content continues to be king.

17. Marketers want to place their message around key content and they want their readers segmented.

18. We are moving from an era of mindless to mindful consumers — what will that mean to advertisers who need to earn trust and awareness in the marketplace?

19. Ask yourself: How has your market changed in the last 18 months? How have your competitors and their offerings changed?

20. Get inspiration and ideas from B2C titles: Use tactics like Magalogs to preview your content to prospective members.

21. Educate advertisers on how to create ads that ‘work’ in digital. Manage expectations and raise their knowledge level through group webinars. Give advertisers the tools to be successful.

22. You’re not the only one: Advertisers care about the relationship a reader has with your editorial.


23. Consider the life cycle of your content. How long is it online? What is the plan to move it or reuse it?

24. If members are NOT using content, why are you putting it out? Don’t be afraid to break the mold and let members shape the direction and delivery method of your content.

25. Don’t be threatened or scared that members are driving content through social media channels – embrace that process. The association is still the expert in its respective field. Members providing content does not eliminate the need for an association.

26. Rein in word counts. How long does a story really need to be?

27. Understand and connect with your audience. That’s always the goal.

28. Listen to readers and make changes accordingly if something doesn’t work.

29. Connect daily even if you only print weekly, monthly, or bimonthly.

30. Even readers who don’t have time to read are good at pointing out typos.

31. Stay relevant by providing content only you can provide. Know your audience, know your niche and give them something worthy of their time.

32. Concerned about copyright within social media? A new medium doesn’t mean a new law, just a new context in which those laws apply.

33. Stop trying to chase the new hot demographic. You will alienate your current readers and you won’t provide content that is valuable to either old or new reader. Your content will not be all things to all people…and that’s a good thing.

34. Use the golden rule as an indicator to when copyright or trademark use is over the line. Would you want the same thing done to you?

35. Don’t count on password-protected content for search engine optimization. Google does not read content under a password.


36. Consider varying page count throughout the year. Having a few larger “special issues” tied to events or seasonal content can create excitement.

37. If you do it right, the front of the book can carry the whole magazine.

38. Use an “old-fashion” tip-on to alert readers of their last issue. Print once and then tip on by mail list.


39. The big question for our industry has been, where does digital go from here, and how can it work in tandem with print? The iPad and other tablet devices will likely provide a delivery method that truly showcases and enhances new media.

40. A digital edition can act as a preview of the print piece. Some Gen Y readers identified the value of digital: “We use it to plan what we are going to read in the print.”

41. Offer a different and useful online experience.

42. Both print and digital are distribution channels. Digital is not trying to eliminate print. They should complement each other.

43. Technology has fundamentally changed the accessibility of creativity.

44. If you offer something with value, people will pay for it.


45. Consider having free conference wi-fi and having it sponsored.

46. For your event, consider different splash pages for different audiences. Drive key traffic through those various pages.


47. Flexibility is key right now in both business and marketing. Companies do not want to be locked into long term, inflexible agreements.

48. Transparency within your organization continues to be a key attribute.


49. Google Adwords provide a lot of options to increase SEO and positioning. Experiment. Set a small budget. Get started and see what happens to your analytics. For associations looking to grow its Facebook presence, also consider the key ad words for sale there too.

50. Check out Compete.com: A resource to know more about your competitors and their web traffic.

51. Use the power of content for SEO success. Editors should manage SEO, not the tech department.

52. The best time for a web cast is Tuesday through Thursday at 2 pm.


53. Ask yourself: Who are your social media power users that push and evangelize the conversation?

54. Do you know if your community engages with video? And are they doing that somewhere else?

55. Let the immediacy and temporary nature of social media allow you to take chances. It’s not carved in stone, so try out a new branding approach or irreverent post to garner reaction from members.

56. Only tweet things of value.

Leave a Comment June 21, 2010

Typography: Does your letter have an ear?

Medical students study the anatomy of the human body while graphic designers study the anatomy of letters. As designers, we must know the structure of letters, because like bones, each letter (and typeface) is unique. When the right letters/words in a typeface are put together, they have the potential to add mood and meaning to our designs.

Here’s a reference chart of some of the basic (and maybe some lesser known) typographic parts – the anatomy of a typeface:


Not a bowl of ice cream, but the curved part of letters such as b, d, p, and q.

The spine is curved like its human counterpart and connects the top and bottom parts of the letter s.

A letter’s stem is like a supportive beam to hold everything up, even serifs.

Think of cute floppy dog ears when you see the ear in the letter g.

Some letters have narrow shoulders, others more broad. They connect two stems together in a curve to make letters such as n, h, m and r.

Jenni Mayer, Graphic Designer, Network Media Partners, Inc.


1 Comment June 1, 2010

Integrating video comes easy to AAMVA

AAMVA’s Katelyn Wyszynski talks about the association’s goal to beef up the video portions it’s member communications in the latest Association Media & Publishing e-news Final Proof.

Find out more about the redesigned, award-winning, online MOVE at the Association Media & Publishing annual conference in June.


Leave a Comment May 18, 2010

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