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Third Leg of the stool
04-09-2008
by Bruce Poorman  |  Email the author
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Like many of you in the industry, we often describe our business and the different areas that define our overall operation as the legs on a stool. For a trade publication such as ours, it is a three-legged stool consisting of editorial content, advertising sales to generate revenue and a tightly controlled circulation that can detail for our advertisers exactly who is reading our publication every month.
Over the three short years we have been publishing, the strengthening of two of these legs has been obvious. Our editorial leg has added new writers and editors as we continue to strive to be the source of unbiased industry news. In the advertising sales and publishing side of our business, we have also strengthened our presence by adding territory reps who are both experienced in managing display advertising for our clients and have years of experience in the life sciences industry.
These changes are easy for people to see: Our readers see new bylines on our news stories and our clients see our new sales staff at their places of business. While these changes are obvious, it doesn't mean we have spent the last three years ignoring our circulation.
Instead, the work that goes into building a strong and verifiable circulation list is done in the trenches and out of public view. Executive Vice President Larry Doyle has spearheaded this effort since our inception and today it is my pleasure to announce that last month, DDN completed our independent circulation audit conducted by BPA and became a member publication.
The BPA Audit and resulting Statement of our circulation is the largest single investment in DDN to date. It is a culmination of a 14-month effort to qualify our readership. The benefit to advertisers is that it defines our audience through an independent audit. This in turn benefits our readers, because advertiser confidence in a publication generates the revenue to enable us to offer DDN at no charge. Successful publications are built much like a three-legged stool, supported by editorial content, circulation development, and advertiser support. Our BPA Audit Statement is another example of our continued reinvestment in our product.
As with most things in business, however, it doesn't stop there. This is not an end point in building our circulation, just as we don't see the strengthening of our sales staff or improving our editorial product as end points.
Instead, it is a benchmark and an area that will continue to see investment from our company in the years ahead. Indeed, for publications such as ours, receiving the Audit Statement from BPA is a right of passage of sorts. It is one that announces to the industry that we are no longer just a start-up publication.
In other words: We are here to stay.



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