In Circulation: Branding keys two pubs' new pushes

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The circ-building tactics that were in the news this week were a bit more subtle than your average mailer or insert card: Both Family Circle and CosmoGirl looked to partnerships and branding to build consumer awareness and drive sales of their print titles. 

CosmoGirl turned to, a virtual social networking site where the magazine had been building a presence since November 2007. Together, the two are promoting a “virtual prom” on The event coincides with prom season and CosmoGirl's special prom issue. 

The event makes sense because synergy between CosmoGirl and has already been tested by the magazine's presence on the site, and high school age users make up a large percentage of's visitors. By promoting each other and feeding off the buzz of prom season itself, the two brands are helping themselves. is a new channel through which CosmoGirl can reach out to teens across the country and provide a single loyalty-building event across all geographic areas. 

Family Circle teamed with NASCAR in promotion of NASCAR: Serving It Up. On this nationally syndicated TV show, designed to appeal to NASCAR's more than 70 million fans, contestants cook Family Circle recipes, and the magazine's food editor is on the judging panel. 

Like CosmoGirl's pairing, the marriage between Family Circle and NASCAR is calculated and pre-tested. NASCAR driver profiles have been well received by Family Circle readers in the past, and the two audiences display overlapping demographic characteristics and interests.

These two partnerships illustrate the value in giving consumers something they want (an entertaining show or a fun event) to build excitement for a title. Using partners with similar audience bases helps spread promotions to untapped consumers who have demonstrated an affinity for what these magazines have to offer. If these promotions are done right, everybody — magazines, partners and readers — wins.

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