Turning Digital Disruption into Real-Life Results
Education. Networking. Publications. Advocacy. The benefits associations provide their members are numerous and invaluable—and the rewards members gain from them are equally incalculable.
But what do you do when one of your top-rated member benefits starts having problems that overshadow the many solutions it offers? If you’re PRISM International, you start to think outside the (paper) box.
Insights into InFocus
For years, PRISM International had offered members across the globe inFocus magazine as a resource for information about the ever-changing records and information management industry and its leading trade association. However, in 2016, it became clear to PRISM staff that a few challenges were threatening the magazine’s usability by members and sustainability as a highly rated member benefit.
Despite consistent ad revenue, the costs for printing and shipping the magazine to PRISM’s far-flung international membership had ballooned as the content in the magazine, and the number of individuals working for PRISM’s member companies, increased. Further compounding this issue was the fact that many members in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East weren’t receiving their issue of inFocus at all due to failures at their local post offices.
The rapid-fire evolution of the industry also presented its own problems. Lengthy printing and shipping timelines meant that content in the magazine could be outdated by the time it reached international members’ mailboxes. And although a digital edition was available on the PRISM website, it could not adapt to the ways content increasingly was being consumed: via mobile, tablet, and touchscreen device.
Working on the Web
Although the potential for going digital was clear, staff wanted to do much more than just present members with a “magazine on screen.” That’s when they looped in AMC’s Creative Media Services team, who researched the market and suggested using Adobe’s then-brand-new Publish Online feature to help bring more functionality—and a little bit more fun—to the publication.
Publish Online enabled staff to create the magazine in InDesign as usual, but also to introduce functions like animation, video, audio, social sharing, image and quote carousels, and more to each issue—all while cutting costs and improving the financial stability of the publication. In addition, the Publish Online offered a host of other benefits—including a responsive design, basic reader analytics, and the opportunity to make instantaneous content updates—that addressed each of the other challenges that had been plaguing PRISM staff.
“The transition not only was a cost effective solution for our client, it also resulted in an overall better product,” said Stephanie Sayen, marketing manager for PRISM International. “Now, we’re able to share interactive articles, animation, and videos, which helps us engage with readers more and in more dynamic ways.”
Perhaps even more importantly, the transition to digital enabled PRISM to reach more readers at a fraction of the cost, ensuring that every member, regardless of their location, was able to read about their industry and their association—and that PRISM could reach well beyond its membership without jeopardizing their bottom line.
“Previously, we mailed a hardcopy to the primary contacts of our members to save on printing and postage fees,” said Stephanie Sayen, marketing manager for PRISM International. “But now we’re able to easily and instantly share inFocus with anyone in our database or visitors to our website.”
Exciting End Results
Although making a drastic change always poses risks, the new publication already is reaping rewards beyond what staff expected, both for the association and its stakeholders.
“The transition from a printed magazine to the new digital format has been a fantastic move not only for our members, but for our industry,” said Sayen. “A sponsor is now able to go from submitting a standard 1-page print ad with no tracking to sharing a 15-second video commercial that’s clickable and therefore trackable.”
A solution that benefits the association and industry alike, all while cutting costs? That’s a story PRISM International is proud to publish in print—or digital!
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