“Everything communicates” is a commonly accepted truth. But should we really take this at face value? To find out, we asked three people whether this saying holds true in their industry.
This is the second of three articles in the series “Everything communicates”, written by Sofia Falk, Editor at JG Communication. The articles were originally published in Swedish in the award-winning magazine 150.
The Edita Group’s own industry magazine about communication was launched three years ago (as 150), and since that time the series of magazines, which so far also includes 151 and 152, has won “Svenska Publishingpriset” (the Swedish Publishing Prize) and the Swedish Association of Custom Publishers’ Guldbladet awards.
The series has also been nominated for “Svenska Designpriset” (the Swedish Design Prize). Here on our website, we are now publishing a series of articles that originally appeared in Swedish in our award-winning magazine series. First up is “Everything communicates, part 1”, by Sofia Falk, Editor at JG Communication.
In this series of interviews, we look at what JG Communication employees do, and how they weave their magic. Here, Jenz Nilsson, Editor of Contact, Ericsson’s internal staff magazine, tells us about his role at JG Communication.
JG Communication has won “Svenska Publishing-Priset” (the Swedish Publishing Prize) for the second year running in the “Infomagasin” (Best Information Magazine) category, this time for 152, the latest in Edita’s communication-magazine series.
In a statement from the jury, the magazine was praised for “its pages filled with great spreads, stylish typefaces, suitable colors, and texts with ‘drive’.”
In this series of interviews, we look at what JG Communication employees do, and how they weave their magic. Here, Birgitte van den Muyzenberg from England, who runs the subediting desk, talks about the linguistic challenges involved in the daily work.
JG Communication has four magazines nominated for the Swedish Publishing Prize, the winners of which will be named on “Communications Day” in Stockholm on October 18.
In autumn 2010, Ericsson employees were asked to grade the company’s internal communications channels. They gave a good rating to Contact, and therefore also to Ericsson and JG Communication’s ambitions of publishing a modern feature magazine with items of current interest and in-depth articles.
In January 2007, Ericsson decided to review its internal communication channels. One of the goals was to reduce the distance between the management team and the employees to help improve the commitment level and instill a more positive feeling about the company.
At the center of this initiative was Contact, which had been Ericsson’s internal magazine since 1939. The question was how Contact could convey Ericsson’s goals in a way that was tangible, accurate and easy to read. Another issue was how it could be used to explain how each individual employee and unit could contribute towards the company fulfilling those goals.
The huge task of improving the magazine began immediately, and this included extensive input from the magazine’s readers – Ericsson employees. A work group that included representatives from the customer was asked to submit requests regarding the new internal magazine.
A readers’ survey conducted by JG Communication showed that there was still considerable interest in having strategic material that was directly linked to the Ericsson organization – especially regarding coverage of services, products and trends that drive business.
The survey also highlighted that there was a great demand for a broader range of material, such as personal portraits, industry reports, competitor analyses and feature articles that placed Ericsson in a larger context – in other words, a more journalistic product.
Ericsson and JG Communication published the first issue of the new Contact in January 2008. Employees received a magazine full of relevant content in a format inspired by publications such as Time and Newsweek. The new approach to dealing with images, headlines and texts created an interest and encouraged employees to read on. It became a sharper internal magazine with a more familiar and honest tone – in other words, it was fully in line with the customer’s wishes.
The accolades then came thick and fast. In its 70th year of publication in 2009, Contact won in the Best Redesign of a Staff Magazine category at the Guldbladet awards – an industry competition organized by the Swedish Association of Custom Publishers (Sveriges Uppdragspublicister) – and took the bronze medal in the North American Ozzie Awards for the Best Use of Illustration. In 2010, Contact won the Best Design category in the annual awards organized by the Swedish Association of Inhouse Editors (RIM).
However, the positive feedback from the readers in each subsequent internal survey has been even more important.
An overall print run of 65,000
JG Communication produces Contact, which is published six times per year in both English and Swedish. In 2010, the magazine had an overall print run of 65,000. Contact is one of several internal communication channels within Ericsson. The others are the Contact Online intranet, the electronic Contact Newsletter and the Contact TV video channel.
“A more familiar tone”
“A sober yet attractive design, more varied content and a more familiar tone all contribute to the facelift of the magazine. The spreads are carefully selected and reflect a cross-section of Ericsson’s global world. Despite Ericsson’s diversity, the publication conveys a sense of unity, belonging and commitment to a common goal. Purely and simply, the magazine has radically changed for the better.”
(The Guldbladet jury, 2009)
“A professionally designed magazine”
“The magazine is very professionally designed, clearly profiled and very coherent with clear strap lines, well-designed graphics and a pleasant range of contrasting colors. The design is well thought out from cover to cover, and gives a generous and substantial feel to the magazine which, despite containing a lot of text, is never gray or heavy.”
(The jury of the Swedish Association of Inhouse Editors, 2010)
Stopover magazine is expected to reach almost half a million people in 2011. The idea of the magazine is to inspire travelers and to attract them to new adventures and destinations.
Stopover is published four times per year and has been produced by JG Communication in close cooperation with Novair since autumn 2008. The assignment includes coming up with an inspiring design and ensuring that the magazine has relevant content that creates interest. Stopover won the prize for best customer magazine at the Swedish Design Awards in 2009.
Relevant conversations while traveling
In each issue, JG Communication’s project managers, reporters, photographers, editors and art directors come up with useful tips on exciting destinations, city guides, columns, features and interviews with inspiring individuals. The magazine also contains information and news from Novair and Apollo.
Project Manager Jill Klackenberg says: “Doing Stopover is lots of fun. We’ve found the right mix of interesting features, an attractive design and relevant information, without losing the feel of a travel magazine.”
The target group for Stopover magazine is travelers in Sweden and Norway who have chosen Apollo as their travel partner. The magazine can be found onboard all Novair flights and in Apollo stores in Sweden and Norway. It is also sent to a selection of travelers.
I’ve just come back from a brief meeting with one of the most digital-savvy women I know. The internet is like the air she breathes. But she’s the one who suggested that I print out the e-mail she’s just sent me so we can talk about it. Just for the sake of clarity – so that we can both look at it at the same time and discuss it, and maybe make some notes in the margin.
In a series of five articles, we talk to our business area managers to learn more about ongoing assignments, the key to success and their best tips for good communication. This time, Maria Torshall, Business Area Manager Printed Media, shares her thoughts.