While publishing a journal is the focus of journal publishing, you need to get the published material into the hands of readers. Creating a Communications Plan will help make sure you distribute your content in a consistent and regular way. Fortunately for small journals with minimal staff, many of the publicity tasks overlap – the more people know about your journal, the more they’ll look to your journal for new content and the more you promote content, the more people will know about your journal. Developing and reinforcing your brand identity on social media and in mailings will build your reputation.
You may want to set up an email list for your journal. You will need to collect contacts. Different softwares exist that can help. NYU offers Google Groups for mailing lists. Mailchimp, a marketing automation and email platform, is also popular because it offers a free version.
Apart from your own list of readers, you should also target lists for groups interested in your journal’s topics. Pooling the memberships of your editorial board can be a great place to start. You can also boost readership by making announcements in your department and school at NYU.
Especially as your journal is getting off the ground, you may want to consider boosting awareness through launch events. Bringing together the authors of pieces you publish is a great way to encourage circulation. You may want to invite authors to speak on a panel or roundtable in your department. You can also work with your editorial board to create an event related to an issue theme.
Consider a press release for your journal at key moments. A press release offers the objective facts about your journal for redistribution by news outlets (or newsletters). The goals for a press release are:
You want to make sure to include relevant information about the journal and its mission, the authors and their influence, as well as important dates related to the articles. Press releases typically begin with the location the report comes from and the current date. You can include catchy quotations. It’s good to include the fresh information about the newest issue or call as well as information about the journal and contact information.
Beyond the press release, you want to generate interest wherever possible.
Outlets like Springer and Taylor Francis offer services for generating publicity around your journal. Brand identity, promotional campaigns, alerts and notifications, and regular releases help get the word out about new content. Employing as many strategies as you can will help increase your reach.
Members of a small journal staff often take on multiple roles, but whether you assign these duties to different teams or to the same person (who may need to be replaced at some point) it helps to identify publicity tasks for each aspect of publication. For communications and outreach, as you organize marketing and publicity, it helps to create discrete checklists for each issue and for each stage of publication. Building a consistent mechanism for reaching your audience will help you grow. You can create templates for each issue.
Scheduling Calls for Papers can support the promotional efforts. It’s a great opportunity to remind people about past issues and generate interest.
In addition to increasing submission numbers, setting up notifications before deadlines helps raise awareness for the journal.
Having a press release for issue launches can help promote the pieces.
Creating individual content summaries can help you spread the word about the issue overall. Bring people into the issue by relevant summary posted on social media or on email lists. Asking authors to link back to the journal with their own web presence can be effective. Setting up a system for this sort of amplification can make it easier to promote the issue.
If there are publicity mechanisms for your department or professional organization that you can tap into, take advantage of them. We recommend asking administrators and department heads for available channels. Encourage authors to share with their channels, as well.