The Scottish Women’s Institutes (SWI) has awarded a three-year contract to Aberdeen-based Tricker PR to produce its monthly members’ magazine, Women Together, following a competitive tender exercise.
Tricker PR will write, edit and design the monthly 32-page A4 magazine, which circulates to SWI members across Scotland.
Women Together had previously been produced in-house, and subscriptions were also managed internally. The outsourcing of the magazine will help the SWI to address a deficit in magazine production costs, as well as breathing new life into the publication.
The contract was signed in May, however, due to long term staff illness, Tricker PR was appointed to produce the March, April and May editions.
“The magazine is a member magazine and we intend to put members back at the heart of Women Together,” says Beverley Tricker, managing director of Tricker PR. “We’ve already introduced a readers’ consumer panel and an editorial policy which means that all features must relate to SWI membership in some way.
“We have a track record in producing ad hoc and quarterly client publications, but this contract leads us a step further into producing a glossy magazine and also organising the distribution to all parts of Scotland.”
The Scottish Women’s Institutes (SWI) affectionately known by many as ‘The Rural’ – the last bastion of holding up standards in cooking, flower arranging, knitting and scone production – has produced an opt-in members’ magazine, previously called Scottish Home and Country, since the early 1924.
In 1999, 143,000 copies were printed annually; by 2016 this had dropped to 60,000, partly due to falling membership numbers. It is hoped that fresh, new and lively content with a new approach to photography and design, will help to halt the decline and increase circulation. It is also hoped to make the magazine more appealing to a broader range of advertisers.
Christine Hutton, national chairman of the SWI, says there has already been lots of positive feedback on the changes made so far. She adds, “Our members are already noticing that the content and overall look and feel of the magazine is different, and they are very much enjoying the changes that have been made.
“The change in editorial policy has resulted in the magazine tackling issues which are of interest to SWI members – everything from health concerns to recipes – and presenting them in a way that is relevant and inclusive.”