In July 2014, I joined the Wisconsin School of Business as managing editor in the Integrated Marketing Communications department. One of the great draws of the position was that I was going to be able to oversee a biannual magazine–Update magazine, the School’s alumni magazine with a circulation of more than 40,000 graduates.
An editorial committee carefully selects the story topics, but I was able to shape the underlying structure of content and act on a deeply held belief–that alumni magazines, first and foremost, should tell stories about alumni.
When I joined the team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the editorial slate for the first issue was already set. Determining the editorial slate for the Spring 2015 issue was a lot of fun, and we had some big wins with our content. First, the cover story, “Eight to Watch,” got as page views in the digital edition as the entire Fall 2014 issue. Second, the story was picked up by the marketing team, and images of the eight alums chosen for the article, as well as brief synopses of their stories, were used in beautification projects around Grainger Hall.
As I write this, we’re on the downhill slope, about to publish the Fall 2015 issue. I’ll update the post once the issue comes out with some stats on how it performed. I’m really excited about our cover story, which is like Fight Club–the first rule of unpublished stories is that you don’t talk about unpublished stories.