How Does an Engagement Work?
An engagement with Association Publication Evaluations consists of a six-part program to restructure, re-launch or reorganize your newsletter or magazine and its related activities.
Step #1 – Pre-Meeting Analysis
After an introductory conversation with your executive director/CEO, Steve Milano will review sample copies of your publication, collateral materials and website pages; research your organization’s mission statement, history, competitors and 990s; and analyze your website, annual meeting, sponsorship programs and other activities to gain an understanding or your association’s goals and how your publication fits in with your plans.
Step #2 – Initial Meetings
Steve will meet with each of your staff members to discuss their roles with your publication, their understanding of your association’s goals and their thoughts on how they view their areas of responsibility. Team members interviewed will include:
- Executive Director/CEO
- Marketing/Communications Director
- Editorial Director
- Sales Manager or Development Director
- Designer/Creative Director
- IT Director/Webmaster
Prior to these meetings, each team member will fill out a Department/Function Performance Questionnaire to prepare for the evaluation of his or her area of the publication. Each team member will bring their questionnaire to discuss their thoughts with Steve during their one-on-one sessions.
After the individual meetings have concluded, the entire team will meet for short discussion about the upcoming evaluation process and to share the executive director’s goals for the publication.
Step #3 – Plan Preparation
After concluding his on-site visit, Steve will create a comprehensive plan for your newsletter or magazine. Components might include an editorial reorganization, graphic re-design, identification of new revenue steams, financial restructuring, digital strategy and/or marketing campaign. This period will include ongoing follow-up calls and emails with individual staff members as they execute their action plans.
Step #4 – Plan Delivery
Steve will deliver his recommendations to the executive director/CEO, and then to the staff as a group. The staff will discuss their reaction to the plan, offer their ideas and begin to formulate their individual timelines and budgets using assignments and recommendations Steve has prepared for them. If requested, Steve will attend another virtual meeting when the finished product is presented to the staff.
Step #5 – Board Presentation
If you need to present your plans to your board for approval, you can arrange for Steve to attend the presentation and interact with your board to amplify points of the plan and answer board member questions.
Step #6 – Ongoing Assistance
During the months after you begin to implement your plan, Steve will be available to answer questions, review budgets, comment on design changes, collateral materials and website pages, and otherwise provide input.
What APE Does Not Do
APE is not a turnkey publishing company and does not provide ongoing design, writing, production, printing, mailing or website development services. APE works with your staff and contractors to help you take your publication to the next level without an increase in your publication costs — in fact, your costs will most likely decrease and your revenues increase after an APE engagement. APE can refer you to several turnkey association publishers if you choose to go that route with part or all of your newsletter or magazine.