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Join PMA

Why should your Publication Join PMA?

Download Membership Application Package (pdf)

The Parenting Media Association - PMA (formerly PPA) is committed to fostering high quality standards in local and regional parenting publications. PMA is a growing and vibrant association, dedicated exclusively to the problems and concerns of local and regional parenting publications. Among our goals are to promote high quality local and regional parenting publications and the provision of targeted professional development programs. We are particularly pleased with our efforts to provide meaningful member services, including:

  • PMA recently launched a new website which offers opportunity for more digital content for members and access for potential advertisers to each individual member publication.
  • FREE Sales Webinars – presented by the Blinder group, these free webinars are available live and then by recording to members providing valuable sales tips and information.
  • An annual editorial and design awards competition managed by the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. This is the only broad based competition to recognize excellence in our industry.
  • An annual Fall Leadership Seminar which brings together industry leaders to stimulate thinking and to lead discussions about our industry and to provide a forum to discuss and share ideas on improving operations and generating profits.
  • On-going training and education sessions for key publication staff including an Annual Convention in the Spring with sessions directed at the needs of major departments including Sales, Editorial, Design/Production, and Management.
  • Conducting periodic industry specific research which, in the recent past, has included such efforts as a financial bench-marking survey with customized comparisons of each publication's performance to the total sample.

The biggest benefit of PMA, however, is the opportunity to join a network of experienced publishers who freely share their history, ideas and knowledge. Many a member has received a jumpstart on a new program or initiative, or avoided a serious mistake in implementing a new idea, by having the opportunity to bounce ideas off this pool of experienced and talented colleagues. Members interact via meetings, conferences and through participation in an email exchange program sponsored by PMA.

PMA has come to represent integrity and quality in terms of the circulation, demographics and editorial product of the parenting publications among its members. We invite you to become part of this movement!

Guidelines and Requirements of Membership

The Parenting Media Association-PMA is a national trade association of regional parenting publications throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. The organization provides opportunities for member networking and professional development and increases awareness of the regional parenting publication industry. To maintain the association's reputation for quality and integrity, all existing and prospective PMA member publications are expected to exhibit high levels of journalistic excellence and ethical business practices.

To qualify for membership in the Parenting Media Association, a publication must be recommended for membership by the Membership Committee following a careful review of the applicant's compliance with the standards and criteria set forth below. Once approved for membership, each member publication is expected to comply with these standards and criteria on an ongoing basis.

Business Practices
Member publications must exhibit professionalism and use ethical business practices to enhance the usefulness and strengthen the character of the PMA. Member publications must:

  • Have been published for at least six (6) months.
  • Publish at least 4 issues per year.
  • Be professionally printed.
  • Publish a rate card and/or media kit with circulation numbers and a printing frequency that correspond with print figures.

Editorial
The editorial content of member publications must be dedicated to topics and subjects directed at the local parenting community in their regional markets.

  • Member publications must maintain a minimum of 30% editorial content overall; maximum of 70% advertising overall.
  • At least 75% of editorial content must relate directly to parenting, families and/or topics relating to children of various ages.
  • At least 60% of editorial content must be locally generated and/or locally focused or be of specific local interest to the publication's readership.

Editorial and Advertising Mix
Member publications must exhibit a clear distinction between advertising and editorial content.

  • Layout, design and typeface of all kinds of advertising pages should be distinctly different than editorial copy. The main typeface of the magazine's editorial content should not be used in advertisements or special advertising sections.
  • As publishers incorporate more options for advertisers to tell their stores in print, digitally and via social media, keep in mind our interst in being transparent with readers. When an advertising message has the feel of editorial content, it is important to alert readers. It is strongly recommended that words such as “Advertising” or “Sponsored Content” “Brought to you by…” be attached to any print ad, online copy, Facebook Post or tweet that is tied to paid advertising.
  • Editorial space should not be sold or bartered in exchange for advertising.
  • Advertising should not be placed adjacent to editorial as the result of improper involvement or to imply editorial endorsement of particular advertisers. Advertising adjacency may be considered and be acceptable in some cases. The cases are best determined through discussions with editorial and sales staff. In general terms, for example, the advertiser might request adjacency to the month’s general health story, education story or the month’s recipe at a premium price. It is strongly recommended that an advertiser not be allowed to place an ad on the same page spread as a story that lists the advertiser or the advertiser’s products or services.

Cover Guidelines

Member publications must exhibit a clear distinction between advertising and editorial content. While the cover is editorial space, in today’s business, there may be times when an ad might appear on the publication cover. Members must maintain the requirement that editorial space not be sold or bartered in exchange for advertising and the cover ad should comply with these requirements:

  • Position: Ads on covers must be positioned on the bottom half, well away from the magazine logo.
  • Size: Ads must be limited to no more than 1/16 size of the page
  • Treatment: Ad Art must not tie into editorial blurbs or cover graphics.
    • a. Font must be different from the editorial font
    • b. Ad message and language should not integrate with editorial (for example, if the edit blurb reads “Five Must-See Family Movies,” the ad copy cannot read “Chipmunks: The Must-See Movie of the Summer”)
    • c. Art should be contained in a border or clearly separated by its own color
  • False Covers:
    • a. the magazine logo is not used to suggest editorial endorsement (the logo may be used on false covers and cover flaps to identify the publication)
    • b. editorial content and graphic design are not integrated with advertising
    • c. false covers and cover flaps do not use cover lines and graphic-design elements similar to those used by the magazine itself
    • d. False covers and the front side of cover flaps used for advertising should always be labeled as advertising.

For Samples of appropriate use of Ads on Covers - click here.

Additional Requirements of Membership

In addition to the standards and criteria above, members of the PMA agree to abide by the Bylaws of the Association and the policies of the association established by vote of member publications from time to time. Member publications agree to abide by the following specific requirements of membership, in addition to the standards and criteria set forth above:

  • Submit on a timely basis the annual dues renewal payment and such forms as may be necessary to renew membership each year including copy of the most recent circulation audit, copy of an audit commitment letter, or copies of three printer invoices for months specified indicating quantity printed, current ad rate sheet and a completed directory form.
  • Donate up to two color pages of ad space each membership year (July to June) to be used by the association in a national donated space program.  The donated space is available to the association to sell at a discount to introduce new advertisers to Parenting Publications. Member publications may earn the 15% sales commission for selling the donated space to a qualified buyer and 15% agency commission.

Originally Approved by Board of Directors - October 2005
Last revised March 2014

Download Membership Application Package (pdf)