You’ve done the work of creating a journal, so now you need to get your journal to your audience. Having a sense of where your readers are finding new research and where they learn about new publications will help you create the best communications plan for your journal. Taking advantage of your professional associations, institutional affiliations, and personal networks will help you reach your readers. As your journal develops, you may find new ways to reach readers (events, new lists, guest editorships, etc), and it can help to revise your communications plan on a regular basis. As NYU affiliates, you can tap into university resources. NYU’s public relations team has people assigned to each school to promote the work of NYU professors. Contact your school’s marketing department for more information.
You’ve already taken the steps to create the journal, so you have a strong idea propelling you. Just as you want to strike a balance with your title that is both descriptive and easily memorable, you want to develop your journal’s publicity in a way that reinforces the mission and tone of your content. It’s important as you choose your platform and organize your publicity that you maintain the identity of your journal. It helps to create core materials that can be distributed across platforms to generate a common understanding of the journal for your readers. There’s a great benefit to making sure your journal’s visual identity matches the mission of your journal.
Your title will do a lot to organize the “brand” of your journal. While many academics balk at the pitch aspects of publishing, it’s important to identify explicitly the sales points of your material. A logo may seem like a small thing, but creating an easily recognizable image that speaks to your mission serves as both a visual reminder and calling card. If there is room in your budget for it, swag can introduce your journal to potential contributors. While stickers, buttons, pens or sticky notes might not seem like much, they can get your journal’s name into people’s hands.
If you create a social media account for your journal, you want to make sure that you determine who and how posting will happen. Creating posts that are easily shared among authors’ networks can do a lot of work.
There are lots of blog posts on PR strategies and with the rapid changes in social media, the recommendations change, too. Keeping up with the trends is helpful but to prevent burnout, share the tasks. Setting a feasible plan will help you promote your journal without making it your job.
Posting along regular timelines helps maintain audience engagement and sets expectations within your field. If your publication calendar is structured, readers will develop a clearer sense of your ongoing work. Aligning your releases with important conferences and events in your field can help you ride the current of attention and reduce how much posting you need to do overall.
Marketing and Communications complement each other -- timing your releases and information along a timeline sympathetic to your audience will grow your readership. Read the next section for more ideas about setting up a communications plan.