It might make you
uncomfortable to think about it, but the Association of YMCA Professionals is
proving that when editorial and sales teams work together more closely, good
things start to happen.
one of those old-school, church-and-state editors. I was taught that I
shouldn’t speak to the ad team, much less collaborate with it. But the world of
publishing is changing, and the sharp line between editorial content and
advertising has blurred. And so, I have changed, too, if a little reluctantly.
I now work in tandem with my ad manager, all in the best interest of our
members and our advertisers.
to session leaders Carla Kalogeridis, president of ARION Media Services, and
Brittany Shoul, vice president, sales at Network Media Partners, I’m on the
a redesign of AYP Magazine, the member publication for the Association
of YMCA Professionals, the duo led us through how the continual collaboration
of editorial and advertising made for better content, happier advertisers, and
quick online poll revealed that nearly 80 percent of the session’s attendees
(most of whom were editors) kept that line sharp, responding that they had no
working relationship with their advertising departments. Most seemed a bit
weary at the direction of this discussion, but Kalogeridis and Shoul made some
compelling arguments for editorial and advertising collaboration (listed on a
nifty "Collaboration Roadmap” handout), which include:
impact on both your advertiser relationships and member-centric content
for fresh, new content
and Shoul also offered practical ways to collaborate:
that this relationship is an ongoing process.
closely as a team in overall content planning.
your editorial calendar to sales in advance and be open to feedback.
regular meetings to discuss upcoming issues and content.
sales to share new advertisers and industry partners with the editors.
an issue theme (i.e. an annual editorial calendar) far ahead of time to
coordinate with sales allows the opportunity to find advertisers that would be
interested in the theme before their ad budgets are tapped out,” explains
Kalogeridis. "Having your next year’s editorial calendar available before
September is your best bet because that’s when budgets are traditionally created
and editorial teams working together to create supplements and special issues,
as both a way to drive revenue and deliver focused and meaningful content, was
sticky issue for many editors is allowing advertisers to publish editorial
content, but Shoul explains that it doesn’t have to be that way. "We’re not
advocating a pay-to-play scenario,” she says, "but giving advertisers the
opportunity to submit content — to simply be considered as any other freelancer
— keeps your revenue partners engaged.”
and Shoul also reminded the audience that association members are most likely
buying products and services from the vendors who advertise, so there’s already
a synergy in place. And those advertisers are likely conducting relevant
research and are experts in their field, so it just makes sense that they would
be in the perfect place to create editorial content that members want.
secret to making this type of collaboration ideal for both departments is clear
communication. Editors must outline the mission of magazine and be specific
about acceptable content; sales must manage expectations of advertisers and
partners by teaching advertisers how to talk about content ideas with the
editor and helping them understand that their ad rep cannot promise editorial
to use AYP Magazine as an example, the session leaders presented four
editorial spaces that offered opportunities for advertisers to submit
News, industry personnel changes, new products
Research and news; submitted content that is focused but still meets the
An advertiser profile that is a good fit for an issue’s theme or the magazine’s
Story: Written by advertiser about a topic in which they have expertise or
original research, but with no self-promotion
feeling a little skittish? Consider this: The positive impact of the close
collaboration between AYP’s editorial and advertising teams is clear. In
2011, the publication had 22 advertisers making 39 buys. By 2015, 64 companies
bought 123 ads. Not too shabby.
do this because we’re all on the same team and we have the same goal — to serve
the member,” says Kalogeridis. "More and more editors are taking on publishing
responsibilities, and more editors are in marketing roles, but no one wants to
talk about it,” she continues. "The best editors think like marketers. I think
it’s going to be a trend because editors know their audience and understand
what they need better than anyone else. And that audience includes members and
the vendors that serve them.”
Mary Abelis editor
Skin Deep, published by the Associated
Bodywork & Massage Professionals. Association Media & Publishing
sincerely thanks her for volunteering to cover this Annual Meeting session for
our members who were unable to attend.