In 2015 we were challenged with relaunching the Scout Association’s member and volunteer magazine, Scouting, sent to 100,000 adults running Scout groups around the UK. We were also invited to create a second magazine to improve engagement with Scouts’ corporate partners and the achievement badges they sponsor.
Following six months of reader research, we created a radical new look for Scouting, with pared-back design, quality journalism and high production values. It was – in the words of one volunteer – “properly grown-up”. The magazine is part-funded by advertising, which we took on to drive revenues. For select features we also create video stories, shared on Scouts’ Facebook and YouTube channels.
For the corporate partners team, we created a sister magazine called Make.Do.Share., packed with badge-related activities, competitions and opportunities for Scout groups to share what they are doing with the wider movement. If Scouting was the adult volunteer magazine, then Make.Do.Share. was designed to be its unruly, creative younger sibling.
Since launching our new look we have also worked with Scouting programme stakeholders to revise the distribution strategy, delivering assets to share online and bringing greater relevance to the distribution schedules by aligning with academic terms times.
Reader satisfaction levels with the magazine have surged following the relaunch:
- Providing me with inspiration and ideas (up 56%)
- Providing me with useful information (up 43%)
- Making me feel like a valued member of TSA (up 40%)
- Advertising revenues have also increased dramatically – up over 50% issue on issue – now offsetting over 30% of the cost of producing the magazine