Staying connected with members increases overall member engagement and, in turn, association revenue. 

By Chris Schriever

The Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) was founded in 1995 as the National Association of Collection Sites. Since then DATIA has grown to represent over 1,600 members, and expanded its scope. DATIA now represents the entire spectrum of drug and alcohol service providers including collection sites, laboratories, consortiums/ third party administrators, medical review officers, and testing equipment manufacturers.

In 2007, the governing board of directors for the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association challenged the staff and communications committee to launch the first ever association magazine.

Blue House soon joined forces with the association, meeting with DATIA’s executive director in December of that year.

Armed with a history of successfully launching publications and a deep understanding of association magazine management, the Blue House team began the task of putting together the premier issue—which was to be unveiled at the annual conference a mere six months from the decision date.


The objectives of this new project were clear: to create a publication that would provide members and the drug and alcohol industry with a high-quality editorial magazine. Additionally, the association needed to minimize its financial expenditure and maximize its industry exposure.

Blue House and DATIA went right to work, interviewing industry experts, setting an editorial focus and creating quarterly distribution schedule. Meanwhile, Blue House’s sales staff contacted industry suppliers, past and present association exhibitors and DATIA members.

The first order of business was establishing the magazine’s mission to providing its members with up to date industry news, trends and information. Content was key to providing the high-quality editorial focus the association was looking for. Together, Blue House and DATIA organized the magazine into 13 editorial departments that would be featured in every issue.

From there, Blue House began the process of designing the visual look and layout of the new publication. Following the editorial structure, Blue House established a coherent design aesthetic, including a cohesive layout template.


DATIA’s readership consists of industry professionals including collection facilities, laboratories, consortia/third party administrators, medical review officers, substance abuse professionals, hospitals, physician offices, treatment facilities, testing supply distributors and manufacturers, employers, government offices, and members of Congress.


The launch was a success! DATIA Focus was unveiled on time at DATIA’s 2008 Annual Conference. Although DATIA budgeted and forecasted a loss on the first two issues, Blue House had other plans. Due to Blue House’s smart planning, quick and effective action and successful sales and marketing practices, DATIA Focus made a profit with its very first issue! Blue House relied on its publishing experience, design savvy, sales management practices, in-depth knowledge of the industry and professionalism to overcome the obstacles and successfully produce a self-sustaining publication.


DATIA Focus continues to grow in both readership and advertising revenue. Within the first two years of publication, DATIA grew its circulation by more than 1,000 readers. Since then, DATIA focus has continued to thrive, providing the association a sizable profit year after year and remains as the voice of the industry.

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