Case Study: Media – Publications’ Success
Case 3: Enhancing the Success of Publications
Another way that we help media and publications is helping them enhance the marketability and success of their publications. One example of this is the client QSources’ Quality Source magazine as described below.
Before Hiring Ethridge
QSource, Tennessee’s Quality Improvement Organization for Medicare beneficiaries and their healthcare providers, was coming up on a contract renewal date of August 2005, for their magazine Quality Source. Therefore, in March, 2005, QSource asked Ethridge & Associates, L.L.C., a marketing and public opinion research firm with extensive experience in both health care and communication, to conduct a public opinion research study to evaluate and enhance Quality Source. The objectives of this research, generally speaking, were to gain a better understanding of both the readership and the creative effectiveness of the publication.
After Hiring Ethridge
To achieve the objectives of this study, Ethridge & Associates, L.L.C. designed and conducted a study using our Message Testing service with two phases. Phase 1 was a quantitative web survey among medical professionals to identify, segment and profile readers and non-readers of the magazine, to measure readership of past issues, what they liked and disliked about the magazine, and the usefulness of the magazine. Phase 2 was a focus group among medical professionals in the target audience to generate suggestions for how to improve the magazine in terms of its branding, color, layout, relevancy/value of information content, readability and test future creative concepts for the magazine.
Our study concluded that the Quality Source magazine had been a huge success. It had a very high delivery rate; readership rate; favorable opinion; usefulness/value of content; a very high readability; a high brand recognition; an easy-to-follow layout; and very little to be approved upon. The study also found that a majority of the readers and prospective readers would prefer to receive the publication by an email newsletter rather than in print.
Although the magazine had been a huge success, there were nonetheless some opportunities for improving. Three recommendations were most significant. First, was to use the inside front cover of the magazine to express and reinforce a positive relationship with the readers to help them bring about improved quality. Second, was to make it clearer how every article, ad and resource piece clearly and quickly stated how that information could be used, practically, by the reader’s organization, to improve health care quality. Third, we recommended that the publication begin saving money by giving readers the option of receiving it by email rather than by mail.
Results of Following Ethridge’s Recommendations
QSource made minor improvements in the publication and met their goal of renewing their contract for the Quality Source magazine. They also gradually began saving money by sending the publication as a “e-newsletter” rather than by print. For a copy of the current e-newsletter that reflects our recommendations click here.
For more information about Ethridge’s work for media and publications, please click here to see our press coverage.