Print External Audience Tabloids and Newsletters: Emory University - Silver Medal

Category 21A: Print External Audience Tabloids and Newsletters
Emory University, Brainstorms

Contact: Marlene Goldman, director, development marketing, Woodruff Health Sciences Center, 1762 Clifton Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322, Phone: (404) 727-8793, e-mail:

OBJECTIVES: Brainstorms was launched three years ago as a platform through which the Department of Psychiatry of the Emory School of Medicine could enhance its visibility and support its rankings (US News and World Report rankings for example, are based entirely on reputation surveys) and encourage development support. The four-color publication features in depth stories that highlight cutting edge research, teaching and patient care.

AUDIENCE: Donors, prospective donors, patients, Emory VIPs, trustees, psychiatry leadership at other academic medical institutions, and other thought leaders in the field.

FREQUENCY: Twice a year

PLANNING AND EXECUTION: Editorial content is driven primarily by the department chairman in meetings twice a year with the editor and freelance writer to discuss story ideas, timelines, and evaluate past issues. In addition, the editor consults with the vice president of development, health sciences, about possible donor stories and appeals, and maintains an ongoing prospective story file. The editor and writer also plan creative content during a meeting with an Emory photographer and a freelance designer, and the editor works with the department administrative assistant to compile mailing lists and coordinate mailing. To encourage donor support, each issue includes at least one donor story or a story about how philanthropy can help Emory Psychiatry carry out its mission in education, research and patient care. Each issue includes an easy-to-use #9 business reply envelope, which is customized according to each issue’s content.

STAFF: Less than 1/2 FTE (the editor) who also oversees development marketing communications for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. We have successfully built a strong production team using freelance editorial and design support as well as the services of the health sciences photographer.





  • In 2004 when this publication was initiated, Emory Psychiatry ranked 17th in the nation (U.S. News and World Report). Emory Psychiatry has moved up two notches today and is ranked #15 in the nation among psychiatry departments.
  • In addition to improved rankings, giving has also increased.
  • Each issue includes stories to encourage donor support. For example, the Spring 2006 issue included a story about an Emory fellowship program that helps young faculty carve out time for promising research. An accompanying sidebar suggested ways gifts could provide stipends for postgraduate research.
  • The Fall 2006 issue focused on childhood mood disorders. A story about a $2 million gift endowing a chair in Childhood and Mood Disorders demonstrated how philanthropy helped Emory attract a leader in the field to head the new Childhood and Mood Disorders Center and support ongoing research into causes and treatments of these disorders.
  • Brainstorms is now available in patient waiting rooms and frequently used as collateral for various events and donor visits.