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Marketing an academic journal – quick top tips for new or small presses

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

We know that as a small or new press you have limited resources, and need to get the most from your journal promotion activities. Successful marketing of an academic journal is about connecting with the community and delivering content, support and resources that are meaningful and impactful.

As marketers in the industry, you understand the importance of a well-articulated strategy, targeted outreach, and a deep understanding of the academic landscape.

Read on to discover a whirlwind tour of our top tips for building authentic connections and marketing an academic journal in a way that is sustainable.

Build strategic partnerships

A group of people joining hands together

Strategic partnerships with institutions, research centres and relevant practice collaborations can facilitate promotional exchanges and increase your journal's visibility among key academic stakeholders. The first step in this is understanding your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What are their research interests? What are their pain points?

Once you know your audience, you can tailor your marketing messages accordingly. To excel at this you need a great relationship with your editorial board so that you can tap into their knowledge and understand the gap in the market they are trying to address.

Be clear about your journal's niche

What makes your journal unique? What sets it apart from other journals in the same field? Understanding the true USPs of your journal makes it easier to craft authentic, impactful messaging that will engage the community. Make sure your marketing materials highlight your journal's strengths and appeal to your target audience. Think about features that will resonate with the community, including:

  • peer review process

  • turnaround times

  • readership

  • scope

  • societal impact

Engage the community with opportunities for interaction

Great marketing is not about shouting into the ether and hoping people will listen. To really engage your audience you need to connect with the community on a meaningful level. A great way to do this is taking part in industry events like conferences, but also hosting, running or chairing events such as webinars and virtual Q and As. For example, hosting a webinar that brings subject experts together, as well as having a section for Editor Q and As, is an impactful way to tap into researcher needs for subject-based discussion and support from an editorial point of view.

Capitalize on recurring promotion

A small child shouting into a red and white vintage megaphone

Recurring promotion opportunities help you to regularly connect with the community and build your journal brand recognition. This could include things like hosting webinars, publishing blog posts, or sending out email newsletters. By scheduling these activities in advance, you can ensure that you're consistently promoting your journal and reaching a wider audience.

Make the most of resources and support

There is a wealth of information out there, shared by small presses, publishers and third party organisations, that can support you in your journal marketing. We have pulled together our top three to get you started:

Do you have questions about marketing a journal? We are marketing experts but also specialists in academic publishing and scholarly communication – so if you have any questions or need some support, do get in touch, we regularly support new and small presses and we would love to hear from you.

Check out our resources and support to help you achieve more impactful marketing:


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