Sharing its own strong results, the Masons of California
makes the case for associations promoting publications across multiple channels.
By Christine L. Avery
Members constantly list your organization’s publication as
one of their top benefits, yet you are struggling to get your publication
known. While this may be true for many organizations, what may not be well
known is that you can do something about it: Cross-market across multiple
At the recent AM&P Annual Meeting, Angel Alvarez-Mapp,
creative director, Masons of California (and 2012 EXCEL Award winner), shared
his organization’s experience using digital, mobile, and a magazine-specific
website to further promote its publication. Along with Kim Kett of GTxcel, Alvarez-Mapp
led a case study session titled, "The Modern Publication: Engaging Your
Audience on Any Screen.”
By using GTxcel, a multi-media company that specializes in
providing a unified publishing platform, the Masons of California had the
opportunity to gather research first and then decide how best to cross-promote its
publication, California Freemason.
Kett told attendees that it is first important to find out
where your members are viewing your content. "You know your members the best,”
After learning how Masons of California members were
currently viewing their membership publication, Alvarez-Mapp wanted to find
another distribution method. He knew he needed to take advantage of current
technology and so he started with a digital version, followed by a mobile
"I’d rather be ahead of our members than behind them,” said
The organization decided to keep the print publication a
members-only benefit; however, its digital app is free to all. There are 65,000
Masons of California members receiving the print version, yet more than 67,000 people
are downloading the app.
"I was stunned at the statistics,” said Christian Hamaker,
publications manager for The Rural Broadband Association and workshop attendee.
"To learn that his magazine’s app had been mostly discovered via readers’ app
stores, and the magazine’s app dwarfed the use of the digital edition of his
magazine, that was eye-opening.”
Workshop attendees further learned four pieces of advice
- Be a thought leader and champion for initiatives.
- Make your digital/mobile launch a priority.
- It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission (sometimes).
- Publish your content where your members are — everywhere.
"A modern publication is not just print and not just a
digital pub viewed on a tablet. It's content, in all forms,” said attendee Mayu
Mishina, senior writer and publications manager for the African Wildlife
Foundation. "Many members are hungry for information, and if they can't easily
get it from you, they'll find it fromanothersource.”
So what’s next in the Masons of California’s cross-promotion
strategy? Alvarez-Mapp said he intends to launch a responsive design website
soon, followed by augmenting articles with video.
Take a lesson from Alvarez-Mapp and dare to go where no
association publisher has taken your publication before. Go where your members
are and cross-market your publication using mobile, digital, and competitive
submissions to spotlight your publication and increase engagement with your
"If you just do it, your members will follow you,” said
Christine L. Avery is managing editor of the membership publications department and PAYTECH
Magazine, at the American Payroll Association. A big thank you to Christine for
volunteering to cover this events for the Association Media & Publishing
members who were unable to attend.