For my internship experience, I choose to work at Gold & Black Illustrated, a print magazine that covers Purdue University sports. The magazine has 2,000 paid subscribers. Members of the John Purdue Club -- Purdue's athletic fundraising society -- all receive the magazine as one of the perks of their membership. The magazine has both a print and a virtual component. The print version is designed to be a glossy keepsake. The electronic component is published up to 30 times per year to give ongoing information about Purdue sports and is delivered Wednesdays during football season and Monday during basketball season. It offers an interactive experience with both video and audio components and is well-suited in the size and design to iPad and tablet reading. Its information is current, but the articles are in-depth and provide additional information beyond that of quick captions of the sort that might be written on ESPN.
The readership primarily consists of alumni who live close enough to visit the campus to see sports events on a frequent basis (90% live within a day's drive of Lafayette). They are affluent enough to provide financial support to the team and are active participants in alumni-related sports events. Another component of the Gold & Black is GoldandBlack.com, which provides information about Purdue sports and recruiting. It is a premium website with over 2,625 paid subscribers but also has several free components leading to 95,000 unique visitors per month.
The multifaceted aspect of the experience was one of its primary attractions. One of my goals in my internship experience was to gain a sense of how digital media has changed sports broadcasting. My internship will allow me to experience both 'old' print formats, as well as components of Gold & Black that are products of the new digital age and just taking shape.
The different aspects of the production will enable me more fully understand the deadline-driven planning required for a publication to meet the readership's needs of 12,000 subscribers from all over the world as well as provide content for the Internet. The 'glossy' aspects of the magazine have to be well-researched and attractive, while the digital components have to be timely in nature. Different approaches are required for different media, and a story that might fit well in one context might not be well-suited for another.
Given the magazine's fundraising component, understanding how to use knowledge in the information-based economy in an organized fashion to provide service to customers is another goal of my internship. All subscriber names have to be organized and all users have to be given passwords to fully access all virtual components of the subscriber experience. The magazine is in the process of re-organizing the entire online database to better track data about different subscribers and create a more user-friendly experience. Although I am not certain if I will be able to complete this ambitious endeavor by the end of my internship, I hope to have made a major 'dent' in this task.
Another goal is to become more spontaneous and responsive to necessary changes in the publishing world. I must be organized enough to able to schedule future events and coordinate different schedules of employees, yet also be responsive to changes in late-breaking news. This flexibility is a vital component of succeeding in sports media. I must keep subscribers updated about any changes in the delivery process that might affect the publishing schedule, such as the need to wait for additional photographs or information to produce the issue. The ability to communicate with subscribers online is obviously a great asset in this regard. Constant communication is particularly essential because satisfied subscribers are satisfied alumni donors. The magazine's purpose is both informative and marketing-related. It informs readers about university sports in an accurate and timely fashion and must do so in a manner designed to continue readers' interests in (and financial contributions to) their alma mater.
Another goal of mine is related to the advertising component of the magazine. 'Networking' to sell advertising space is a vital component of supporting the magazine. I will be creating multiple spreadsheets of potential and current advertisers. The advertising component of the magazine is also related to its service of alumni. I will be making a spreadsheet of John Purdue Club Champion members, some of which include CEOs and other high-ranking officials. These members would be potential advertising targets as they might be willing to buy premium space…