Corner Office: A Thing of Beauty
As association magazines go, Nature Conservancy has less of a profile than National Geographic or Smithsonian, which is a pity, because the quality writing, beautiful pictures and fascinating facts found in each issue certainly deserve just as broad an audience. Published by the well-known nonprofit environmental organization of the same name, the magazine takes readers around the globe for stories of conservation projects and successful efforts to protect biodiversity, endangered species and wild places.
Teresa Duran, publisher, came to Nature Conservancy in 2000 after working in the book business. She served as top editor from 2003 to 2012, during which time she established the magazine as a premier photo-driven publication, garnering awards for editorial and print/Web design, as well as launched an iPad edition. In July 2012 she became publisher, and has since shepherded the arrival of a new senior editor, Matt Jenkins, and a just-announced move to more frequent publication.
Publishing Executive caught up with her recently to talk about where the magazine is today, where it plans to go, and what it means to be the organ of a nonprofit.
Publishing Executive: Why did you make the decision to switch from quarterly to bimonthly?
Teresa Duran: With the April issue, we're opening Nature Conservancy magazine and our website (Nature.org) to advertisers. We have a circulation of 650,000, and moving from quarterly to bimonthly offers opportunities for some big national advertisers that want those frequent touch points with readers. But moreover, we saw the opportunity to give our readers more timely and more frequent news about the conservation work they support—we have so many great stories to tell.
PE: What is your current digital footprint? Any plans for building this out further?
TD: We have an amazing free iPad app. It's currently the number one "What's Hot" app in iTunes Newsstand, in the Outdoors and Nature category. And it's a medal finalist in the Society of Publication Designers Annual Design Competition—up against some real powerhouses: Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Fast Company, National Geographic and O, The Oprah Magazine. Nature Conservancy is known for our gorgeous photography—we send our photographers to some of the most amazing natural places in the world—and the app allows us to bring more photos to life than we can in the print edition. Plus the iPad offers such a wonderfully rich and immersive way to experience photography. Our digital team, led by Senior Editor Jen Winger and Creative Director Christopher Johnson, also creates some really cool features like interactive maps and hiking guides—more opportunities for users to experience the beautiful places The Nature Conservancy helps to protect.