Lunch & Learn Recap: Multi-Content, Multi-Platform Approach to Success

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By Sara S. Patterson


Meg White straddles the print and digital worlds of magazines. As the managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine, she contributes story ideas and content to the print magazine, the plentiful online content, and diverse social media campaigns, as well as videos.


During the Jan. 25 Association Media & Publishing Lunch and Learn in Chicago, Lou Ann Sabatier of Sabatier Consulting talked to White about how magazines are changing and her strategies to continue REALTOR® Magazine’s success — editorially and financially.


With circulation numbers rivaling top consumer magazines, REALTOR® Magazine reaches 1.3 million National Association of REALTORS® members each month. Digital and social media amplifies its content even more broadly.


REALTOR® Magazine is the face of the National Association of REALTORS® and its flagship publication,” White said. “We continue to grow our influence on social media platforms, including Pinterest and Instagram.”


Its readers and influencers also want more infographics and video content online, according to White. “There definitely has been a demand for more video that we need to meet,” she said.


This multi-tiered content strategy supports the magazine’s revenue, which continues to grow. Its multiple revenue sources include sponsored content and print and digital advertising. The staff plans its budgets on a three-year timeframe.


When Sabatier asked White what else she wants to do, her answer was “to break down the association silos.” Given her progressive track record, this may happen as well.


Among the findings of the Association Media & Publishing Benchmark Study:

  • A little more than one-third of respondents generate paid revenue with their flagship publication from four sources: advertising (91 percent), paid subscriptions (73 percent members and 39 percent non-members), reprints 46 percent, and single copies 34 percent.

  • Content is posted on social media across several channels with the highest usage on Facebook (88 percent), Twitter (81 percent), LinkedIn (49 percent), Instagram (30 percent), and YouTube (26 percent).

  • None of the respondents say they have converted their flagship print publication to a digital-only publication.


The research was conducted by Sabatier Consulting in partnership with Association Media & Publishing and made possible through generous financial support from Sheridan, Imagination, and Network Media Partners. A total of 456 invitations were sent via email to editors, publishers, and association executives at 210 AM&P members and 246 prospective members in October 2017. Eight-five organizations responded for an overall response rate of 18.3 percent. All participating organizations receive a free copy of the study. AM&P members may purchase the study for $99 and nonmembers for $199.


Sara Patterson is executive editor of Commercial Investment Real Estate for the CCIM Institute. Association Media & Publishing thanks Sara for her stellar job of covering this Lunch & Learn for our members who were unable to attend.