DBIA Behind-the-Scenes: The Making of a Digital Magazine
by Andrew Ausel | July 15, 2016
In case you missed it, our quarterly magazine, DBIA IQ, now has a digital option! Rolled out at our Design-Build in Transportation and Water/Wastewater Conferences, the creation of a digital magazine entailed months of deliberation and creative thinking that ultimately resulted in a fun, engaging and reliable digital publication. We are proud of the digital magazine, but we are even more proud and excited about how our digital publication will help DBIA achieve its strategic vision and goals for industry outreach.
How did we get here?
It all began on a Monday morning. It was proposed that we should find a way to make our quarterly publication more versatile and engaging. The design of DBIA IQ had been updated, but the publication was still on paper, which meant it could be misplaced or forgotten, and it couldn’t be easily shared.
We started the mission of looking at potential vendors and came up with an initial list of possible vendors to make a quick and easy digital publication. Our original choice was a typical digitization of the magazine, but a meeting with DBIA’s leadership team urged everyone to think bigger. We needed to focus on vision and making sure that we didn’t sell ourselves short.
Further research, and discussion with our contacts at other associations led to the discovery of a number of great vendors, including a company called Zmags. What ultimately turned out being the company we entrusted with our publication, Zmags stood out to us as an opportunity to not only make our publication digital, but a platform with depth and an engaging interface. After presenting Zmags and several other vendors to our leadership team, it was clear that Zmags’ digital magazine would be precisely what we needed.
The goal of our communications strategy continues to be effective outreach to our members and industry professionals; and our digital publication fits right into that vision. The digital version of DBIA IQ uses moving animations to draw the reader into the articles more effectively. Embedded links and videos also allow readers to engage a subject deeper and experience much of the same benefits of reading a story online.
Furthermore, the age of social media has changed everything about the way we read our news. The new digital DBIA IQ is sharable on all social media platforms, multiplying the opportunities for our publication to reach new readers. Feedback is also a very important component of our digital publication. To ensure our content is relevant and intriguing, our platform allows us to see what users are reading most frequently and exactly how long they stay on each page.
While we expect to gain valuable insight from the digital version of DBIA IQ, we hope primarily that it benefits you, the reader. In furthering our mission, we feel confident that our digital magazine was an important and beneficial step into making our content more accessible and more engaging. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here!