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Warrior Citizen Memo

Warrior Citizen Memo

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Published by: besis111 on Jan 13, 2010
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01/13/2010

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WARRIOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE

BACKGROUND AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MOVING FORWARD

Warrior Citizen Magazine is a vehicle by which stories, information and news create
a shared sense of community for Army Reserve Soldiers throughout the world. We have an exciting opportunity to examine the magazine as it currently exists, to re-evaluate and determine its key objectives, and to develop tactics for successfully accomplishing those goals. The following information provides the Army Reserve with background information and recommendations to produce the highest quality magazine possible.
PAGE 1 BACKGROUND | PAGE 2 IMPROVEMENTS | PAGE 4 RECOMMENDATIONS | PAGE 5 MOVING FORWARD

BACKGROUND
The Powell Tate Creative Studio took over the design and production of Warrior Citizen magazine in the summer of 2009. In addition to the Summer 2009 issue, we’ve also completed the Fall 2009 issue, and are preparing to begin planning for Winter 2009/2010. Previously, Madison Design Group had been designing the magazine (beginning prior to Weber Shandwick’s engagement with the U.S. Army). Madison completed a re-design in 2007, creating a new logo, grid, and templates for interior pages. We took over the design of the Magazine mid-cycle during the Summer 2009 Issue. We stepped in under less than ideal circumstances, but managed to produce a magazine that received recognition and praise. The Fall 2009 issue went much more smoothly, and I’m anticipating that it, too, will receive positive feedback for its organized structure, better photography, and striking lay-outs. We are looking forward to continuing to work with you on this exciting assignment. We feel that we’ve made real progress, and are positioned to bring the magazine to the next level. Following are some examples of improvements that have been made, as well as recommendations for moving forward. Also, attached are schedules for both the Winter 2009/2010 issue and Spring 2010 issue.
Above: Cover design suggestions for the Summer 2009 Global Engagement themed Issue.

WARRIOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE
BACKGROUND AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MOVING FORWARD

IMPROVEMENTS
We have made suggestions on ways in which the magazine’s structure and design could be improved. For the sake of continuity, some of our suggestions have been declined (most notably a new logo and cover design). Others, such as a new table of contents, revised Department header treatments, and new font usage and page treatments, have been met with a positive response. In addition to lay-out design improvements, we created a system for an agreed pagination, which had previously not been in place. At the initial planning meetings, we reviewed the stories to be included in the magazine. After that, we created a thumbnail pagination of all the pages by sorting through our available story options—taking into consideration information obtained at the planning meeting along with available images. The AR editorial staff reviewed the pagination and made tweaks prior to page lay-out. Not only did this save time, it allowed for a more thoughtful approach to the overall flow of the magazine. Of course, there were additional page changes after the first lay-out, but it was by far a better process than what was previously in place.

Cover designs for the Fall 2009 Issue (the bottom cover shows a suggestion for a new logo treatment). Because of the tragedy at Fort Hood, we changed the cover design to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers (right).

This is the inside front cover and newly designed Table of Contents. The above right image is an earlier variation of the TOC.

PAGE 2

WARRIOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE
BACKGROUND AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MOVING FORWARD

IMPROVEMENTS (CONTINUED)
These are spreads which appeared in the Fall 2009 issue. The use of quality photography, interesting typography, and a clean structure to the lay-out makes an impactful visual presentation while maintaining a serious and professional tone.

PAGE 3

WARRIOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE
BACKGROUND AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MOVING FORWARD

RECOMMENDATIONS
We believe great strides and significant improvements have been made over the last 1-1/2 issues of Warrior Citizen that we have designed. And we feel that we will continue to improve as we hone the production process. In order to truly move the magazine to a higher level, there are steps that involve more than simply design. Below are areas that need to be addressed to turn the magazine from a good publication, to an award-winning one: 1) Editorial calendar and advanced planning Content is key. An editorial calendar allows for thoughtful planning of story ideas and themes for the upcoming year. Based on the calendar, stories can be assigned, content collected from the field, and photos obtained—from existing photography if good quality is available, or to be commissioned if needed. We need to work further out in order to have the time to write top-quality content, obtain or commission high level photography, and to design/lay-out/edit/produce in a timely manner. 2) Restructure of content The current structure seems forced and limiting. We would recommend changing what are currently the main sections into departments (given less space, and treated differently from feature stories). We need to make sure that the feature stories are relevant and substantial in nature, and should be guided by predetermined themes, not by being forced into one of the 5 current categorized. (Of course, being flexible is important—if there is a timely event that would make good editorial, we should be open to its inclusion, even if it doesn’t fall into the theme or planned stories.) 3) Define and understand the magazine’s target audience Current information says that the average enlisted Soldier is approximately 30 years old. If we’re considering enlisted soldiers to be our key target group within the Army Reserve, we need to learn what is important to them specifically—what do they find appealing and exciting, what sorts of other publications do they read and like, and what would they like to see included in Warrior Citizen Magazine? We recommend doing a survey of our target audience to glean information which will guide the direction of the magazine’s design and contents.

BASED ON THE EDITORIAL CALENDAR, STORIES CAN BE ASSIGNED, CONTENT COLLECTED FROM THE FIELD, AND PHOTOS OBTAINED

PAGE 4

WARRIOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE
BACKGROUND AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MOVING FORWARD

RECOMMENDATIONS (CONTINUED)
4) New magazine design While there have been modifications to the look and feel over the last year or so, we think there’s an opportunity for even further improvement. After learning more about our target audience, we should consider a new base design for the magazine. FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE LASTING. THE WEIGHT AND BRIGHTNESS OF PAPER GOES A LONG WAY TOWARDS INFLUENCING THE PERCEPTION OF THE QUALITY OF A PRINT PIECE. 5) Improve paper quality First impressions are lasting. The weight and brightness of paper goes a long way towards influencing the perception of the quality of a print piece. We should definitely consider stepping up a grade on paper.

MOVING FORWARD
We want the magazine to feel current, fresh, and relevant to our key readers and something that all Army Reserve Soldiers can feel proud of. We need to start with great content and overall organization, and use photography and strong lay-outs to support our objectives in a way that appeals to our audience. We would like to have a meeting as soon as possible to start planning the Winter Issue, and to discuss the above recommendations. Please see the following proposed schedules for the next two issues. Both of the next two issues are on a condensed timeline to try to get the magazine back on track for delivering closer to the beginning of the season, rather than at the end.

PAGE 5

WARRIOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE

WINTER 09/10 | PRODUCTION SCHEDULE

January 15

Meeting to discuss content Feature stories determined/lay-out ideas discussed Content approved for all features Images gathered Pagination put onto paper Theme/cover decided
AT THIS POINT:

January 20

Content fully edited / approved All Content edited and final, including news and departments All missing images have been gathered Sign-off from Paul and Laurel News and other department content approved Final pagination agreed upon
AT THIS POINT:

February 3

R1 Delivers to AR All pages complete Copy and lay-out reviewed and proofed PDF and Hard copy sent to Laurel
AT THIS POINT:

February 10

Client provides edits / meet to review Content Lay-out / Design / images Style Consistency
REVIEWED FOR:

February 19

R2 Delivered to AR Content and design revised as indicated at R1 Proofed for accuracy Hard copy and pdf sent to AR

PAGE 6

WARRIOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE
February 23

WINTER 09/10 | PRODUCTION SCHEDULE (CONTINUED)

Feedback received on R2 Content revisions Design revisions Only necessary changes to be made
REVIEWED FOR:

February 26

Design team to deliver R3 Final except for any small typos or tweaks
AT THIS POINT:

March 1 March 2 March 3 March 10 March 11 March 12 March 26

AR provides nal approval PT releases to Mark Mark sends to Gateway Gateway sends proof to PT and Paul PT send proofs to Laurel Laurel & Paul return proofs to Gateway Magazine printed and delivered

PAGE 7

WARRIOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE
March 8

SPRING 2010 | PRODUCTION SCHEDULE

Meeting to discuss content Feature stories determined/lay-out ideas discussed Content approved for all features Images gathered Pagination put onto paper Theme/cover decided
AT THIS POINT:

March 22

Content fully edited / approved All Content edited and final, including news and departments All missing images have been gathered Sign-off from Paul and Laurel News and other department content approved Final pagination agreed upon
AT THIS POINT:

March 24

Design meeting/lay-out begins Design team has all content and images Design team knows pagination Design team understands any special treatments Design team lays out entire magazine
AT THIS POINT:

April 7

R1 Delivers to AR All pages complete Copy and lay-out reviewed and proofed PDF and Hard copy sent to Laurel
AT THIS POINT:

April 14

Client provides edits / meet to review Content Lay-out / Design / images Style Consistency
REVIEWED FOR:

April 21

R2 Delivered to AR Content and design revised as indicated at R1 Proofed for accuracy Hard copy and pdf sent to AR

PAGE 8

April 26

Feedback received on R2 Content revisions Design revisions Only necessary changes to be made
REVIEWED FOR:

April 29

Design team to deliver R3 Final except for any small typos or tweaks
AT THIS POINT:

April 30 May 3 May 4 May 11 May 12 May 14 May 28

AR provides nal approval PT releases to Mark Mark sends to Gateway Gateway sends proof to PT and Paul PT send proofs to Laurel Laurel & Paul return proofs to Gateway Magazine printed and delivered

PAGE 9

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