For the Birds and Cats and Dogs and Rabbits...
To stay true to its evolving mission,the ASPCA publications undergo a paradigm shift.
Any association publications don't think big," notes Oriol Gutierrez, director of publications production services for the New York City-based American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). "They think of themselves as just association publications, ... that their role is to ... get the news out to their membership, and that's probably sufficient.
"We'd like to have the look and feel of a consumer book (yet stay true to) our mission," he explains.
Most association publications are membership-focused and concern-ed more with editorial content than overall design or advertising revenue. But is that the end of the definition? Is it possible for an association magazine to evolve into an attractive publication that interests newsstand buyers, without crossing over into the consumer magazine category?
The ASPCA believes that it is possible, and is establishing a new business model and internal structure that reflects this vision. Gutierrez reports that the ASPCA is now debating the crucial issues regarding how best to leverage CTP technologies. Currently following a film-based production workflow, the association's flagship magazine, Animal Watch, is produced through a series of back-and-forth passes between the ASPCA, its prepress vendor (Enhance-A-Colour, White Plains, NY) and its printer (Quebecor, St. Cloud, MN). If the organization decides that digital workflow fits its goals and resources, Gutierrez has set a CTP target date of January 2000. With key staff who are relative newcomers to the association—Gutierrez has just passed the six-month mark himself—and with budgets that do not readily allow for technology upgrades, the next year should require much research and much debate.
Sheltering a mission
From 1991 to January 1999, Roger A. Caras served as president of the ASPCA. One of Caras' many contributions during his tenure was his vast experience in broadcast journalism and writing. Acting as the ASPCA's publisher, he set in motion the winds of change, establishing an innovative precedent that drives the association to this day. Upon Caras' retirement, incoming president, Dr. Larry Hawk, offered a new skill set to the ASPCA, drawing from his professional background in sales, marketing and philanthropy. In his current post, Hawk is calling for a paradigm shift for the association's benchmark publication, Animal Watch: "(The magazine) has to become really the primary positioning vehicle for the ASPCA in the future.