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If there truly is strength in numbers, two online companies just got stronger. Rodale, the self-described "world's leading healthy lifestyle media company" recently announced that it's entered into a creative partnership with gourmet meal service Chef'd to feature the latter's meal plans and a la carte gourmet meal kits in a variety of health-oriented trade publications. Let's take a closer look at the particulars of this alliance -- and how your own publication might benefit from a similar strategy.
Like-minded Content for Overlapping Audiences
The alliance sounds like marriage made in heaven. Rodale's publications, which include Runner's World, Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health, and Rodale's Organic Life, regularly provide readers with valuable health, wellness and nutrition tips, including advice on how to prepare and eat foods are both healthful and enjoyable. Chef'd is a unique enterprise selling gourmet meal kits created by top-quality chefs and other gastronomic and dietary authorities. The company's "always-on" recipe menu allows customers to order the materials and ingredients for their favorite dishes through a variety of online portals -- now including Rodale's family of online magazines.
The partnership has been launched with the inclusion of five Chef'd recipes in the latest edition of Men's Health through a dedicated page on the Chef'd website. Magazine subscribers order the dish they want from this site; a couple of days later, they receive an insulated with fresh, pre-measured ingredients for multiple diners, a recipe card, and even beer and wine recommendations. The dishes are all nutritious and reasonably proportioned, in accordance with the theme of the publication.
The Larger Implications
The Rodale-Chef'd partnership is obviously an attractive one for both parties. Rodale gains an exciting, unusual way to add value for its readers, while Chef'd gains the enormous market reach of a media mogul. But these two entities aren't the only ones pairing up to create a sum greater than its parts. Flipboard, a social magazine currently available only to Apple iPad users, has joined forces with Oprah Winfrey, featuring content from Winfrey's various publications in a special branded section of the publication. Oprah gains a new media outlet exclusive to a select audience, and Flipboard gets associated with one of the most famous brands on Earth.
But there's another, even simpler reason many organizations are willing to partner with online trade publications -- to gain access to a steady stream of content they don't have to create themselves. In fact, some organizations are so hungry for content that they team up with more than one publication. Take the Archery Trade Association, which has developed partnerships with no fewer than three leading niche publications (Archery Business, Arrow Trade and Inside Archery) rather than maintain its own in-house magazine. This automatically makes it a powerful media force within its niche, and meanwhile the publications enjoy their association with the guiding force in the archery industry.
Creating Your Own Partnerships
Are these examples giving you some ideas? Think about your publication, your brand, and your target market. Would your readers get excited about increased (or exclusive) access to products, services, and information from certain high-profile companies or organizations? Could those companies and organizations benefit from the opportunity to market themselves to an expanded audience? This sort of strong, relevant media partnership could give each of your respective brands a welcome boost in public relations, clientele, and of course revenue.
Increasing your brand awareness and marketing reach could be a simple as finding the right "dance partner." So don't be a wallflower -- look around and see if there's an ideal creative partner for your publication!