Repositioning of Rebrik

When CAMECO's assistance was requested the circulation was steadily going down, the financial situation precarious, and the question had to be answered whether there was a realistic chance for the children's magazine Rebrik to survive on the Slovakian market. Off-the-cuff a two-day crisis meeting was called by CAMECO, bringing together the publishers of the Slovakian NGO eRko and the staff of Rebrik. It was decided to give the magazine another chance, and CAMECO was asked to partly take over the leadership of the project "Repositioning of Rebrik".

The Catholic children's magazine can look back on a tradition that roots back to the times of communism, when the hand painted pictures and texts set on manual typewriters were secretly mimeographed and distributed, and there were never enough copies available for the school children at primary age who wanted to possess one of the rare issues.

As first steps in the urgently developed "rescue strategy" a financial crisis plan was outlined. Three surveys were launched to learn more about the readers - children of primary school age - and the main subscribers. Additionally, the data available from the business department were thoroughly analysed to obtain a more solid basis for financial planning, distribution and marketing initiatives.

In the following two years CAMECO directed and facilitated several strategic planning workshops; coaching and consultancy sessions for staff members were held. An expert group was established to support the small permanent staff of three. Two children editorial groups are now providing permanent feedback on the adequacy of the contents and design of each issue. In the production work the editor-in-chief is assisted by an editorial team, mainly consisting of volunteers freelancing for Rebrik.

The achievements of the two-year project phase have definitely surpassed expectations: The quality management has improved, organisational structures and procedures have become more effective, monitoring and controlling mechanisms have been implemented, content and design have been upgraded, marketing initiatives have become more focused, and new strategic partnerships have been coalesced. The prosaic figures underline the big success achieved by the Rebrik staff: The overall circulation has almost doubled, from 6.000 copies in 2006 to more than 11.400 at the end of 2007. At the same time, the degree of self-sustainability has been equally raised. While in 2005 the sales revenue amounted to 48 per cent of the overall budget, it reached more than 60 per cent in 2007 - 59 per cent from the sale of the magazine, another 2 per cent from the sale of "merchandising materials".

(aj)