Barbara Bates, Magazines Canada’s longtime Executive Director of Circulation Marketing, has stepped down from her role. Her last day with the association was June 1.
Over the past 12 and a half years, Barbara has steered Magazines Canada’s circulation marketing and distribution departments through some massive changes in the industry, always with an eye towards improving the business of our member magazines. She was quick to recognize the importance of keeping the association’s direct-to-retail distribution program efficient, which was crucial to its continued success during a period of attrition in retail stores, while also creating campaigns promoting independent Canadian magazines in big retail stores.
Barbara developed our retailer newsletters and catalogues, launched our consumer newsletters and contests (recently partnering with Roots Canada and Fairmont Hotels), and spearheaded our marketing creative—the posters and backer cards visible in many stores to this day—from “Read Canadian Magazines” to the Genuine Canadian Magazine icon and posters, through to our recent campaign, “Anything Can Happen at a Magazine Stand.”
For this campaign she became a short film executive producer, working with K9 strategy + design to create the films for the “Anything Can Happen” campaign and again for our latest series of films, part of the “Canadian Magazine Moment” campaign. Through her contacts, she had these films shown at the Hot Docs Film Festival and on the screens of Gateway stores in the Toronto subway, among other spots.
“My most memorable day at work was also my longest,” says Chris Chambers, Magazines Canada’s Retail Accounts Manager, who worked with Barbara throughout this period. “After a full day at the office, Barb and I went to Type Books, where we worked until 6 am the next day with the K9 film crew shooting the ‘Anything Can Happen’ footage through the night. Our main job was to be sure that the Canadian magazines were front and centre in all shots. And then to clean up after the crew had left and return the Type rack to its previous international flavour. Throughout the night she was upbeat, positive and ready to help with anything. Pretty sure we took the next day off.”
More recently, Barbara piloted a new project in partnership with the Globe and Mail and Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge that has resulted in approximately 25 of our member titles being displayed and distributed in airport lounges across the country and internationally.
“Barbara is a leader within our industry,” said Magazines Canada CEO Matthew Holmes. “Whether they know her personally or not, hundreds of Canadian magazines and tens of thousands of Canadians have benefited from her vision and ability to get our titles seen in a crowded market. She has helped keep magazines in the hands of Canadians, while always finding new and innovative ways to reach audiences in a rapidly changing environment. It’s been a pleasure working with her.”
She’s been a great friend to Canadian magazines throughout her career and will be missed by the members and team at Magazines Canada. Barbara plans to take on consulting projects in magazine circulation management, and we wish her all the best in her new venture.
In the coming weeks, Magazines Canada will restructure internally to ensure our strong marketing campaigns and distribution functions remain fully integrated with our other programs and services.