Without exception, the winners of CASE’s Robert Sibley Magazine of the Year are gorgeous and well written. But this year’s winner was something I’ve never seen before: short! In a tight 28 pages, SF State Magazine is as ambitious as any magazine out there, and it accomplishes as much as many publications twice that length. To find […]
About Erin Peterson
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In the spring of 2020, many print alumni mags came to a screeching halt. Colleges cut and combined issues. Some moved their publications exclusively to digital platforms. What was the impact? Recently, I talked to Lindsay Sherman, senior editor and writer at McDaniel College, a small private liberal arts college in Westminster, Md. She and her […]
In a recent newsletter, I linked to a summary from the CASE Alumni Magazine Reader Survey, which shared lots of data from the 192 institutions that had used the tool. Among the numbers that caught my attention: 87 percent of alumni magazines have an online version of the magazine as well as a print magazine. (No word […]
If you’ve read my work for awhile, you know that I love story packaging: quizzes and Q&As, infographics and annotations, timelines and lists. But do you know what storytelling format to use when? Sure, you know that your 100th anniversary package should probably include a timeline. But should that profile be a Q&A, an as-told-to, or a straight […]
Is it time for your publication to hire a sensitivity reader? MAYBE! Today, I want to share what this experience looked like for Shay Moser, managing editor of W. P. Carey magazine, In this interview, she shares what prompted her decision, how she integrated the work into her process, pricing and timing details, and the larger lessons […]
I love talking to editors about their story development processes for their magazines. I’m particularly interested in the ways they work on their feature wells. After all, a print magazine is a school’s flagship communications tool for alumni. It’s often one of the most time-consuming and expensive communications tools, too. In a magazine, the feature […]
Last summer, I gobbled up Rodham, the alternate-universe story of Hillary Clinton written by one of my literary favorites, Curtis Sittenfeld. A line that stood out to me was when the fictional version of Hillary sends her brother a sports-related text: “This season does seem promising, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up.” […]
First, let’s state the obvious: most schools made dramatic changes during the early weeks of the pandemic that weren’t based on in-depth analysis. This isn’t a criticism! The changes were an immediate response to an unprecedented crisis. Communications teams slashed costs, cut the number of issues in their magazine or trimmed pages. Some went entirely […]
I made my first set of annual predictions last year. Were they good? Were they terrible? I mean, the assumptions didn’t include a pandemic, that’s for sure. Will 2021 bring the same kind of chaos? There’s still plenty of uncertainty, but based on what I’m hearing from clients and newsletter subscribers, here are some of […]
Over the past few months, I’ve been talking to editors who are feeling squeezed like never before — trimmed staff, smaller budgets, more responsibilities. And the last thing that they can afford is a magazine story that goes off the rails for one reason or another. It seemed like a good idea at the time. […]