We recently got to sit down with Allié McGuire, Editor-in-Chief of AwareNow Magazine and Founder of Awareness Ties. Allié and Jack McGuire created Awareness Ties together four years ago as a way to raise awareness around social issues, one story at a time. As an interactive publication, each edition of AwareNow is filled with thought-provoking articles, exclusive video clips, podcast interviews, and original artwork from featured guests. From activists to nonprofit organizations, Awareness Ties helps amplify voices in the global cause community, inspiring millions to engage with social impact causes that affect countless lives each day.
Simply put, we are a social impact platform. Through our AwareNow Magazine, podcast, and talk show, we raise awareness for causes one story at a time. To date, we've shared 528 personal stories and interviews that inform and inspire a global audience. We believe that storytelling is our most powerful tool – and we are honored to use it in a way that will educate and empower people around the world.
Digital just makes so much more sense for us where we're at. We thought that instead of physical spaces for physical magazines, let’s have digital partners who can digitally distribute [our publications].
To support our magazine, podcast, talk show, website, and social media campaigns, it’s mostly Jack and me! We have contributing columnists from around the world who submit stories each month, as well as ambassadors who share their personal stories and give the causes they support a face and name. In addition, we have our advisors who support us in any and every way they can.
Beyond this, we have our Official Partners who are integral parts of our DNA, helping us do and be more to support others. Issuu was our very first Official Partner and has been with us since the beginning. While we have a lot of support, we need even more. We need a full-time staff to sustain and scale our platform. Until we secure resources to level up that way, we’ve had to get very creative and very efficient in everything – this is one of the reasons why we love Issuu.
A lot of it is super organic. We try to create the themes based on what's going on in the various cause communities and specific times where different causes are recognized and focused on. Beyond that, it's just us being inspired by what we see and hear. We reach out and say, “Hey, would you like to have a conversation? Because we think the story that we just heard is one that everyone should hear!”
The Inclusion Edition features a cover story on Madeline Stuart, the world’s first international model with Down syndrome. This interactive issue includes an in-depth feature on Madeline’s impressive career featuring engaging visuals, including videos of Madeline on the runway in London and content from her YouTube channel.
We embed – it's an integrated part of our publication’s production! We embed every edition and create a unique link for each article. We are able to amplify stories with the efficiencies the platform provides.
When it comes time for a new magazine issue, all personal stories and exclusive interviews are collected, edited, proofed, then published for our magazine’s edition. This is where it gets very interesting because, thanks to Issuu, our full edition is embedded in our website, shared on social media, and sent to all our subscribers with a single line of code. That's how we reach our goals, build this model, and scale the way we do.
We are able to share and promote individual stories with custom, individual links. It's all made possible because of the efficiencies of this platform... In addition, we are honored to be able to share our visual stories on Issuu’s platform and before an international audience who is looking to consume content. This allows us to raise awareness on a global scale.
The beauty of Issuu’s visual stories is that we are not re-creating the wheel. We’re pulling from what we've already produced and simply repurposing it for that same goal of raising awareness. It's an incredible way for us to engage outside of our own circle and through our partnership with Issuu.
The Rise Edition features an exclusive interview with Rain Phoenix, Founder of LaunchLeft. With the QR code feature, readers can simply scan the code in the issue and be taken over to the AwareNow podcast episode to listen to the full interview.
Expanded Reach – With Issuu, Awareness Ties has been able to build a global audience and track their success along the way. Between a publisher page on Issuu and embedding publications on their own site, they attract 8 million+ readers each month!
Embedding – With Issuu’s embed feature, Awareness Ties can embed each edition of their magazine directly on their website, allowing readers to read each issue without leaving the site or even opening a new browser tab.
QR Codes – Awareness Ties can build a content journey for its readers and connect supplementary content for each issue of AwareNow. With QR codes, they can send traffic from each magazine to their podcast episodes, social channels, and additional video interviews.
Video integration – From podcasts to cover stories, Awareness Ties has an incredible library of video content that complements their work across the web. With video integration directly into each flipbook, each issue of AwarenessNow creates an immersive experience for its readers.