Print Internal Audience Magazines: Emory University - Gold Medal

Category 22B: Print Internal Audience Magazines
Emory University Woodruff Health Science Center, Momentum

Contact: Rhonda Mullen, associate director, Health Sciences Publications, 1440 Clifton Rd., Suite 105, Atlanta, GA 30322, Phone: (404) 687-8155, e-mail:


Planning and objectives: Momentum is the magazine of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) of Emory University. As its name indicates, the publication seeks to chronicle the forward movement of the center as it launches innovative efforts to meet unprecedented changes in health care. This four-color, quarterly features in-depth stories that complement a biweekly e-mail and Web-based archive.

The WHSC includes Emory’s graduate schools of medicine, nursing and public health, a national primate research center, and Emory Healthcare. Previously, the components of the center communicated independently of one another, but Momentum seeks to explain the strategy of the entire health sciences enterprise. Distributed to more than 16,000 employees, 4,000 students and residents-in-training, and 3,000 affiliates and friends, Momentum seeks to keep everyone, no matter their role in the center’s diverse activities, aware of the challenges we face and our achievements. At stake are millions of dollars, indeed survival, as we try to get everyone in synch with our mission, while entertaining and informing readers, too. We strive to provide less after-the-fact reporting about what has happened and more up-to-the-minute discussion and analysis of planning and progress. We are unafraid of telling complex, controversial stories such as our recent coverage on stem cell research or conflict of interest issues. Our first-person “on point” columns allow us to publish the many perspectives within the center on a variety of topics, including recent essays on physicians’ roles in educating media and volunteer participation in clinical trials. Momentum’s website provides an electronic version of the magazine, with individual links to each article, and it serves as an easily accessible and searchable archive of past issues.

Staffing: FTE of 1.5 staff
The editor is the only full-time staff. An editorial task force—including an executive editor (who also serves as special assistant to the WHSC CEO), the editor, the directors of health sciences publications and media relations, and the associate vice president for health sciences communications—sets policy and determines content for each issue. We use the services of a department photographer, who does many additional projects for other clients. The art director is a freelance designer. A production manager assists with distribution. A graphic designer in health sciences publications designs the web version of the magazine. In collaboration with Emory’s photo office, we maintain a photo database and recycle photos as appropriate.

Total annual budget, circulation, and unit cost: $95,346 for three issues; 23,000 average circulation; $1.39 per unit

Evaluation: The editorial board members meet twice a year to discuss recent issues and offer a summary of responses from readers in their areas. We also receive feedback from the health sciences administration and from letters to the editor.

Response/results: Demand for Momentum is high. Distribution bins empty quickly, and requests for extra copies are ongoing. We have recently increased circulation to answer the demand. Individual units frequently request extra copies, and this past year was no exception with Yerkes National Primate Research Center handing out the Winter 2006 issue at a national chimpanzee research conference it organized. We provided additional copies to the Emory Eye Center, the Winship Cancer Center, the emergency department, Emory Vaccine Center, the Woodruff School of Nursing, and the Center for Global Safe Water. In addition, the WHSC’s MiniMedical School, which draws hundreds of people from the community, used Momentum to reinforce the topics covered in these classes.

The Health Sciences Center includes the publication in its recruitment packet for faculty, staff, and residents. To help explain complex issues, Emory shares Momentum with the board of trustees; local, national, and international news media; state and federal policy makers and opinion leaders; and various community and professional organizations. Development officers also share the publication with donors who want to know more about Emory programs and opportunities for giving.