Harlyn describes her motivation and curiosity in the development of a MIIS magazine for TLM. She outlines the skills and knowledge base she drew upon. This article provides great advice on how students can effectively venture into new disciplines and sectors. … Continue reading Networking Nervousness + Launching a Magazine with No Experience = Success.…
I knew I would start this summer by networking, a daunting task many grad students fear. The goal was to gather information and tools to create a strong foundation for ROAR magazine to have a successful first year out. As a content creator with zero understanding of running a magazine, let alone what to put inside it, I dove straight into the networking pool and did a little rummaging. With ROAR magazine as the focused topic, I felt comfortable reaching out to professionals with focused questions regarding their work. I spoke to content writers, marketing experts, and publishers to get a complete perspective on how a magazine can run, thrive, and succeed.
I knew I would start this summer by networking, a daunting task many grad students fear.
While the topic of ROAR was the focus of all my informational interviews, I learned a bit about my speakers, learning how they transfer experiences and stories into the written word to share with others. Professionals in the industry share something because they feel it can be helpful for readers (or at least entertaining). Students feel the same way about classes they’ve taken or internships they’ve acquired. These stories shouldn’t be hidden for special events like career fairs. Students have stories to tell, and ROAR wants to share them. My content team and I can fill in some gaps, sharing our experiences and thoughts about classes and career directions, but we need more voices than three. LinkedIn is indeed a powerful resource when trying to get content writers. More often than not, most people in the Localization industry are excited to share their stories, especially if they’re excited about it. So this led to a new path to consider: Marketing and outreach for the magazine.
For outreach and marketing, though, would LinkedIn be enough? Are there other ways to reach students who maybe aren’t big on LinkedIn? After talking to my informants and doing a little research, I noticed that MIIS had a lot of global and local partnerships with schools and organizations. Already recognizing the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program, where I learned about MIIS, I could envision reaching out to these people living and working abroad. The stories they could share about how they utilize language while abroad, the cultural experiences they have with the locals in the area they live, the stories that we all can relate to, even though the location and cultures are different every time. These are the kinds of people that MIIS is looking for as prospective students, so those are the kinds of voices we should try to collect for the magazine.
Throughout the summer, I stayed in touch with my content creator team regularly. The check-ins with them were a good reminder of our original view, and if we made changes, were these changes heading us in the new direction we want to go in? Some of the challenges we encountered were that we weren’t sure about our articles’ writing style and format. For example, someone writes a blog post we would love to publish. The problem is that the writing style and design are different. Writing for a magazine is a different writing style than writing a blog post: the voice of the piece changes. My team and I debated a couple of times about responding to these. We didn’t want to add more work to the contributor, but if we changed it, we risk altering the original writer’s voice. After a few edits and discussing things back and forth, we changed blog posts’ writing and formatting styles so the writer could repost the same content in two different mediums.
The stories they could share about how they utilize language while abroad, the cultural experiences they have with the locals in the area they live, the stories that we all can relate to, even though the location and cultures are different every time. These are the kinds of people that MIIS is looking for as prospective students, so those are the kinds of voices we should try to collect for the magazine.
Another thing I learned was that there are different ways to talk about the same content, even if it’s in the same medium. Similar to the blog format versus a more traditional article way of writing. ROAR has a podcast side as well. Was this a chance to fuse both sides? I took this chance to reach out to another professional in the industry, one who worked for MultiLingual Magazine, to ask her how the different mediums worked. Currently, MultiLingual doesn’t have a podcast, though they’re trying to record articles to make it more accessible to those who prefer listening to their content rather than reading it. However, upon hearing the challenges they had to face, I figured this would be a great chance to play with the idea of joining forces with the podcast. Some things are better in podcast form, but that medium isn’t for everyone (I’m not a podcast listener myself). ROAR Magazine has the chance to become a multimedia platform for student news, discoveries, adventures, and fun updates.
I knew my takeaway from this summer would be networking and research experience. I’m entering my practicum to understand better how a magazine can work within an industry. We must ensure that while we have these different mediums and voices, we still maintain our quality of information. Are the articles we’re posting helpful, engaging, or fun? Does everyone feel like they can submit something if they want to? ROAR should be a space where students can come to explore and express their adventures in localization. A strong, grounded platform can grow without losing sight of its original purpose: To give students a place to share their voices.