100 Issues, 1992-2016
CSDA’s Official Magazine Reaches Milestone
Concrete Openings, the official magazine of CSDA, is an established and respected trade publication that reaches 19,000 industry professionals worldwide with each quarterly issue. The December 2016 issue marks the 100th official release of the publication to the industry—a far cry from the magazine’s humble beginnings during the early years of CSDA.
First produced in October 1975, Concrete Openings was a simple four-page photocopied newsletter in black and white that was distributed to CSDA members only. The newsletter grew throughout the 1970s and 1980s, doubling in page count, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the evolution of Concrete Openings began to accelerate. In fall of 1992, advertising space was added and the newsletter became a 12-page trade publication. Circulation was expanded beyond the CSDA membership to reach general contractors, architects and engineers. By 1995, Concrete Openings had become a true trade magazine with 10,000 subscribers and size had increased to 36 pages, including 4-color covers.
By the start of the new millennium, full-color content was the norm, page count was averaging 60 pages and the publication boasted a new, modern design and masthead. Regular features like Tech Talk and The Business of Business were now part of the lineup. The magazine highlighted CSDA’s member benefit programs while the December issue had become unofficially known as the “World of Concrete issue,” containing show promotions and a tear-out card to promote CSDA member exhibits at the show.
To further promote the association and its members, a copy of the annual CSDA Membership Directory was mailed with the June 2001 magazine and this coupling continued for several years. In 2005, the size of the mailing grew further as the CSDA Resource Guide—a collection of industry Standards, Specifications and Best Practices created by CSDA and its members—was combined with the Membership Directory to form a formidable reference book for industry specifiers and members alike.
In 2002, CSDA joined the digital age and launched www.csda.org, but it wasn’t until a revamp of the website in 2005 that the magazine had a substantial online presence. As the publication continued to grow in size and circulation, it was clear that it needed more than just a section of the CSDA website. Therefore, in September 2009 a dedicated website went live, containing all content from the latest issue of the magazine together with archived issues, job story downloads, advertising options and a simple online subscription form.
To keep pace with technology and make Concrete Openings more accessible to a growing online audience, a new and improved version of the website (what you see now) was launched in late 2014. This new iteration of the website includes enhanced features for social media sharing and a responsive design that allows readers to easily view content on devices with different screen sizes and orientations. Since its original launch in 2009, the website has had over 140,000 page views and its subscription form has attracted almost 2,900 new print subscribers to the magazine.
Since becoming a fully-fledged trade publication and reaching thousands of industry specifiers, Concrete Openings has showcased some of the most unique and challenging jobs undertaken by CSDA contractor members. Feeling like these jobs deserved further recognition, a competition was created in 2013 to assess each one and award the “best” based on set criteria. The following year, at World of Concrete 2014, the first Concrete Openings Awards ceremony was held and the competition has continued to run each year since.
As it reaches its official 100th issue, Concrete Openings has a circulation of over 19,000 with subscribers in 96 countries. Subscriptions remain on the rise, page count continues to grow and advertising content is strong. Since 1975, the magazine has featured 350 job stories from CSDA members in 23 countries. The official magazine has come a long way from its humble beginnings and has become an invaluable tool for promoting the association and its members.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has contributed to Concrete Openings over the years. Whether you submitted an intriguing job story, provided an insightful article, sent informative news releases, filled ad space with some eye-catching artwork or simply handed your magazine onto a colleague and recommended they get a free copy, your dedication to CSDA’s official magazine is appreciated. I often say to CSDA members, ‘this is your magazine.’ If it weren’t for members going out and completing amazing jobs, producing innovative tools and equipment or putting their knowledge in ‘black and white,’ we wouldn’t have a magazine. Thank you. Here’s to the next 100!