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Association TRENDS Successfully Transitions from Print to Online Publishing

Highlights:

  • Ennect Mail helps publication deliver timely news online.
  • Association TRENDS gets insight into what readers want by seeing what's being read... or not.

Association TRENDS, an association industry newspaper, has been publishing continuously since 1973. Jill Cornish, president and publisher, was thinking about "one day" turning the printed publication into an online newspaper. The online idea catapulted to the top of her to-do-list when her printer unexpectedly closed. The would-be disaster turned into a blessing in disguise, however. With the help of Ennect Mail, Cornish is now delivering her publication online and communicating with her readers more quickly. Plus, her staff gains valuable insights into what subscribers need.

Top executives in the $400 billion-a-year association industry have come to depend on Association TRENDS. An offshoot of Cornish’s association management company, the publication was initially started to answer client requests for peer information and industry news. Today, nearly 7,000 subscribers receive the publication on a weekly basis.

For such a broad distribution, Cornish’s organization is small: three internal staff plus two marketing consultants, an on-line database company, and Ennect. "I consider all of these to be my staff," said Cornish. "Using Ennect Mail enables us to look a lot more professional."

Ennect Helps Deliver News in Timely Fashion

The publication offers its readers news and insight, so it must be timely. "If we're not getting to our readers within three to four days from when we write something, it's too late. It was taking two to three weeks to reach some of our readers by standard mail and that's not acceptable to me. We would have had to go electronic eventually because any publication that wants to focus on news is not going to be timely in print any longer. Our world is going way too fast for that," said Cornish.

"Ennect allows us to access people very quickly. When we do our production, we no longer have to recreate layouts every week. Ennect Mail gives us a basic format and we just fill-in the blanks. The structure is there; we add the content and send it. It's not a difficult thing to do," she commented.

Association TRENDS Can Tell What’s Not Getting Read

One of Cornish’s biggest challenges is getting the community to actually read the publication. "We provide them with an enormous amount of information that they can use, but sometimes they just cannot absorb it all," she explained. "We needed to find ways to take away those things that they're really not going to read and boil the publication down to just the important material."

"Using Ennect Mail enables us to look a lot more professional."

Jill Cornish

President and Publisher
Association TRENDS

Ennect Mail allowed the Association TRENDS’ staff to see what people are actually opening and reading and what they are not. Association TRENDS gives its readers a piece of the story with a direct link to the Internet where they can find more information. This has allowed them to understand what’s popular and focus on what they actually need in the publication.

Association TRENDS found Ennect through its relationship with Elliance. "We were working with Elliance to develop a new web site when our printer went out of business," said Cornish. "They really came through for me. You don't often find someone who you can trust with your whole business, but I am very comfortable working with these people. I had a very close relationship with our printer; I never had to worry about anything. And now, I feel the same way about Ennect. When we ask a question, we know we're going to get an answer; we know they're going to produce."

"I can't think of anybody this product wouldn't serve well. Anyone who is using a printed piece on a regular, routine basis will find Ennect Mail very useful. The tools give you all kinds of information that marketing people, circulation people, and editorial people certainly need," said Cornish. "The tools are structured to be of great help to associations, to corporate entities, to non-profits, to small and large businesses."


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