A New Look—and Attitude—For Prevention
Anne Alexander brings turnaround experience and vision to a venerable brand.January 2013 By James Sturdivant
When Prevention was founded nearly 63 years ago by organic farming and publishing visionary J.I. Rodale, it was envisioned as a resource for those seeking alternatives to the postwar industrialization of food, medicine and health care. Putting an emphasis on lifestyle choices rather than medical treatments, the magazine anticipated the holistic health movements of the 1970s by 20 years. Fitting, then, that the magazine should today turn its focus back to the boomer generation and figures like Dr. Andrew Weil in undertaking what the company calls a "major brand reinvention," reaching out to an affluent generation of women as they move into their 50s, 60s and beyond.
Heading up the change is Anne Alexander, editorial director of Prevention from 1997 to 2000, who rejoined the magazine in September as senior vice president and editorial director after stints at National Geographic Books and AOL UK. Alexander says she brings with her a full understanding of what Prevention has been and seeks to become.
"Over the course of the last year … Maria [Rodale, Chairman & CEO of Rodale Inc.] did a lot of soul searching about where to take the company," Alexander says. "She saw where health is going today and saw connection with what her grandfather started. And she decided to take the brand back to its roots but also into the future."
A Prevention "task force" was formed, looking at the business, marketing and editorial side of operations, and out of this effort came a new vision for the magazine. A cleaner, more sophisticated design for the print product and website, new contributors including Weil and Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, new columns such as "Your Turn" and what Rodale calls "a focus on new frontiers in medicine and integrative health"—all herald a fresh approach tailored to the needs and desires of empty-nester boomers.