work journal

Strategy design: the National Forest Foundation's magazine

January 25, 2022

Many of the strategies I work on are top secret, but I just finished one for the National Forest Foundation's magazine that I'm thrilled to share. Chartered by Congress, the NFF's brings people together to restore and enhance National Forests and Grasslands.

NFF Communications Manager Hannah Featherman and I had already created four issues together, with me as contract editor and consultant helping bring Hannah's vision to life.

We'd partnered with some incredible writers, among them Krista Langlois, James Edward Mills, Chris Kalman and Xander Peters, working together to tell stories in support of the organization's mission.

At that point, the two of us knew it was time to step back and take a hard look at the publication, which was then called Your National Forests, and had evolved from its inception 15 years prior.

The magazine was something both Hannah and NFF President Mary Mitsos believed in deeply, and yet, it was an expensive and energy-consuming project. What was its focus? What did it aim to accomplish?

These were all questions we needed to consider, especially in light of a new strategic plan.

The high-level strategy we created is the culmination of creative workshops I led for the NFF's leadership team; interviews with board members, and weeks of vetting concepts and parsing language with Hannah. In addition, it covered early-stage recommendations for content, design, printing, distribution, marketing, connection to digital and engagement.

Amazing how so much work can distill down to something so simple.

By listening deeply and weaving in ideas from so many others, we created group alignment behind what will ultimately become an entirely new publication. At its heart, the strategy positioned the magazine exactly where Hannah and I had been working toward all along:

Print is an evolving media. The publications that survive will really be something special. This new strategy strategy positions this magazine as a leading voice in DEIJ, public lands conservation, and outdoor recreation. It allows the NFF to highlight its own work and leadership, as well as our partners. It also puts us in a position to forge and grow new relationships. 

Building out this new publication will be a large undertaking. I sure hope I get to work on it with Hannah!

No items found.
Read the magazine's strategy
inquire > reframe > transform >
Think we might work well together?