National Stroke Association: Print Savings Drive Big-Picture Integrated Media Strategy

ashin October 22nd, 2013


Founded in 1984, National Stroke Association is the only national organization in the U.S. that focuses 100 percent of its efforts on stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke. Started in 2001, StrokeSmart Magazine’s mission is to reduce the impact of stroke on the life of survivors and others impacted through regular outreach, education and building community. The print publication reaches more than 270,000 readers in the stroke community, with a circulation of 100,000. In 2012, National Stroke Association realized a need to find savings in its publication’s print and distribution costs to improve the bottom line.


Additionally, National Stroke Association recognized that the 7 million stroke survivors in the U.S. are no longer finding stroke information through just one channel, such as print magazines or websites. In order to remain relevant and timely for its audience, and to penetrate the vast stroke survivor universe, the organization needed to design a communication approach that was cross-platform and utilized the latest online digital strategies.



  • To evaluate print and distribution expenses for StrokeSmart Magazine and find areas for cost savings
  • To better engage readers – and advertisers – through stronger content and more engaging design of the print publication
  • To develop an online digital strategy that would boost donations and online sales opportunities
  • To create an online resource directory that would serve the stroke community by providing a national database of stroke-related services and products



Association Media Partners (AMP) began by analyzing the hard costs associated with the printing and distribution of StrokeSmart. By looking at the big picture of the entire print production cycle – including printing, paper, shipping, mailing services and postage – AMP determined that distribution was half of the actual hard cost expense for National Stroke Association. With that data in hand, AMP was able to find a printer that had the co-mail capabilities needed to streamline the mailing process and save National Stroke Association on postage for its magazine.


Using the money saved from the print costs, National Stroke Association and AMP developed an online digital strategy to act as an extension of StrokeSmart Magazine, resulting in an active, supportive online community that enables an ongoing conversation about stroke. AMP partnered with National Stroke Association to launch It was designed to be relevant, timely, and inclusive of the content and social media interaction that today’s consumers expect. The new website provides an expanded menu to give stroke survivors and caregivers more opportunities to learn, share and connect with others living with stroke. One of the new features is a comprehensive database – the StrokeSmart Resource Directory – which functions like a yellow pages for stroke, and enable users to search national and local listings for stroke-related companies, products and services.



“We wanted to better serve the needs of our readers and deliver the ultimate resource for survivors, caregivers and the millions of families affected by stroke every year. AMP delivered a cost savings solution for our print needs that allowed us to invest in a comprehensive online digital strategy. By offering multiple media channels for the stroke community, we can be sure that readers are getting the information they want, whenever and wherever they want it.” – Jim Baranski, CEO of National Stroke Association


By partnering with AMP, National Stroke Association has:

  • Realized a cost savings of 31 percent over print and distribution costs of StrokeSmart Magazine while creating a higher quality product.
  • Reinvested print and distribution savings into a robust integrated media strategy and launch of the magazine’s companion website,
  • Developed the only national resource directory (searchable by state) for products and services related to stroke.
  • Generated more funnels and opportunity to provide education and services to the stroke community, while increasing donor response. This has enabled National Stroke Association to continue its reinvestment in extended education for stroke survivors and caregivers.
  • Brought a multi-channel sales acumen to StrokeSmart Magazine, which had been print-centric in the past.
  • Enabled the Association staff to focus on operations and mission.