The Australian Water Association
Australia’s biggest professional body for water professionals, the Australian Water Association needed to cater to a broad range of industries.
The Australian Water Association
The member magazine of the Australian Water Association
Members of the AWA – water professionals spanning research, policy, water utilities, manufacturers, agriculture, energy and environment
Quarterly print magazine, weekly enewsletter
In launching a new print magazine for the association, we left behind the dry technical articles that had characterised their previous magazine, and given it appeal to only a small section of their membership. Instead, we turned the diversity of the membership into a centrepiece, crafting the magazine as a forum where competing views can make their case and debate the big issues facing the industry.
Dubbing the new magazine Current, we moved the magazine to a news feature style to some of the big issues being debated in the industry – for example, the nation’s preparedness for El Niño events, waste-to-energy generation, enormously expensive irrigation projects in Australia’s arid north and technological developments.
Just as importantly, the new magazine brings the industry’s figures to the foreground, with high-profile interviews (the launch issue featured an in-depth interview with Australia’s new and fiercely controversial Water Minister, while the second), as well as bringing into focus the ordinary members and some of their extraordinary stories. For example, to help promote the association’s mentoring program, each issue features interviews with a successful mentoring pair, giving insight into their own professional struggles and triumphs.
Meanwhile, a back-page feature gives space to highlight the pride that people derive from working in the water sector. Featuring members from different sectors of the industry not only humanises the association but also highlights shared experiences between those from different corners, strengthening cohesion.
Of course, the technical articles the previous incarnation of the member magazine leant so heavily upon have a place, but instead of devoting almost the entire magazine to reproducing them, we have instead moved to print shorter, 800-word executive summaries and redirect interested readers to new online e-journal, allowing for more articles delving deeper, boosting the utility for readers.
With a conservative audience and densely-packed features, the magazine’s design has been created with elegance and authority in mind. White space and clean font choices make sure the heft of the information being conveyed never feels overwhelming for the reader. This is further aided by multiple breakouts and infographics, full-bleed photography and plenty of human faces.
Although only one issue of the quarterly magazine has reached readers so far, the response has been stirring, with praise from all-corners of the industry. Interest from advertisers has also soared – whereas the first issue had 84 pages, the second has grown to 140.
Our content marketing efforts have also borne juicy fruit on the event attendance front, with delegate registrations at the association’s flagship event rising 14% this year. Furthermore, the number of registrants who also took out an AWA membership was up 30%.
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