Ivey Business School appreciates the value of its alumni base to its brand and sustainability. With this in mind, its alumni magazine, InTouch, serves a critical function. The magazine maintains a relevant connection with its 25,000 alumni. The previous iteration of the publication was produced internally by the School and it had a very institutional voice. We were invited to help Ivey reconceive the magazine and strengthen its value to its audience.
Re-focusing on the target
To ensure the magazine would maintain strong relevance with alumni, the School established an editorial board with equal representation of both School and alumni. Moving forward, success would be informed by a key metric—how the readership defines relevant. This would manifest in a number of ways. Stories would be about the alumni — their lives and careers, and how the knowledge and values gained at Ivey have helped shape the real world. To ensure it maintained interest and freshness, journalists would write the articles, rather than school staff. Additionally, the design would be photographically-driven. With an ever-present eye on relevance, photography connected the magazine with the world of the alumnus.
Publishing and distributing a magazine is expensive. It becomes important to have insight into whether the reader audience values the content. Otherwise any return on investment is not clear. The board instituted regular audience research and readership surveys. Creating a great magazine is an iterative process. Phases of redesign were launched at points where the research highlighted a clear opportunity for improvement.
Reader satisfaction, April 2010
Reader satisfaction, January 2012
Reader satisfaction, March 2014