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Small-Club Magazines-Extinction or Revival?

(Thursday, October 30, 2014)

AKC Gazette breed column: A member of a small parent club considers the role of the traditional club magazine in a digital world:

Ever since the Internet became a part of our everyday lives, the traditional printed materials of small national parent clubs such as club yearbooks or magazines have been in danger of extinction because of today’s high costs today of printing and mailing. Instead of competing with the Internet, can we make it work for our small national parent clubs?

I propose that the careful balance and coordination of web and e-publishing, and of paid subscriptions and advertising, may be the modern and practical answer for the small parent club to provide free printed magazines to its membership.

How do we compete for the average breeder’s yearly ad money? One answer may be by publishing electronic versions of our club’s magazines to the public through paid subscription. This could pay for the printing and mailing of the same publications to club members for free as a traditional perk of the club.

Another perk might be to allow club members the exclusive right to advertise in the club’s publications including the coordination of tasteful banner ads on club websites and/or club Facebook pages in conjunction with their ads in the club’s electronic (and printed) publications.

A beautiful printed dog magazine still has a place on our coffee tables, bedside tables, and bookshelves. With the popularity of the e-book readers that allow one to download books and magazines, why not charge the public a modest paid subscription price, so that the club members can benefit by receiving a printed version for free? More subscriptions mean more information getting to the public, and this may influence more people to become new members. This in turn will influence who will buy the ads. With both subscriptions and ad money, the club could afford to print and mail printed versions of the publications to its members.

The national parent clubs are the guardians of their breed. They have the enormous responsibility for the education of the public and of the breed’s owners, breeders, judges, and would-be buyers. The potential non-member buyers need to learn if the breed is right for them, and we’d rather have them come to the AKC parent club first for all the correct information. So why not make the information available to the public for the price of a subscription, so that the breed and the club members can benefit at the same time? —Wendy Gieske, United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club

Browse the archive of AKC Gazette breed columns here.

 

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