AquaZone Magazine Goes Digital

From print to social network

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Summary

Our task was to digitise the ASA's AquaZone magazine and engage more effectively with swimmers aged between 9-16.

Problem

AquaZone used to be just a print magazine that was published quarterly with a circulation of 40,000 swimming members aged 9-16. The printed AquaZone magazine was expensive to produce.

With advertising revenue in traditional media falling and the swimming community expecting greater interactivity and up-to-date information, the traditional format was becoming unsustainable.

The ASA had identified a key drop off age group of 14 years old. However, AquaZone had a great reputation amongst its young readers, the magazine accessed a key age group the ASA were targeting young swimmers, divers, synchro swimmers and water polo players to engage with.

There was a real need to develop a community of young people the ASA could engage with so they did not give up swimming.

Goals/Challenges

Lower the costs associated with the magazine
Improve the service to the age group and engage with them effectively
Retain it as a free to access resource but with revenue being generated via membership and advertising

Overall Solution

Initially, the ASA directed people to an online survey asking them how they would like to see AquaZone develop. Whilst 60% of responders said they wanted it to move online, a further 30% of respondents wanted both the magazine and online. There were a variety of responses and there was no pattern between age and preference. However, the main concerns about moving away from the magazine to online only were to do with the regularity of content and accessibility. It was clear that the new AquaZone would need to find a way of meeting these concerns.

Throughout the design and development process, the AquaZone community were kept informed of the changes being made and a sample group of users were engaged with to gain ongoing feedback. It was important to engage with the community throughout to ensure they got what they wanted.

Skylab also worked closely with the ASA and CEOP (formerly the 'Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre') to ensure AquaZone members could ensure a safe, secure environment in which to interact with their peers.

Features

A closed, secure Social Network for AquaZone members
Providing a cross platform social platform which takes AquaZone content into an online environment
Members are able to create a profile as part of the registration process
Member profile includes, Timeline, Friends and Notifications from ASA and club notifications
Whilst there is no one-to-one messaging between members, users can add individuals to their friendship network
Users can like, share and comment on content
There is also the ability to report content or individuals
Achievements
Clubs - Directory and Profiles
Notifications
Advertising
Competitions
Zones with specific content for swimmers, divers, synchro swimmers and water polo players to feel welcome
Integration with Integra to allow for 9-16 year old ASA members only access

The CPSU, Child Protection in Sport Unit, have endorsed Skylab's online interactive magazine and secure social network, Aquazone, which is part of the ASA network and membership database. Their article was published on the CPSU website in August under Safeguarding children. To have the CPSU endorse the online magazine is a huge positive for Skylab and the ASA in the successful delivery of such a high profile and delicate subject area.

Do you need to get your audience active? Are you looking for tools to help increase participation? Contact us on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Twitter at @studioskylab

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