Magazine Critique Service

Discover your magazine's most pressing needs

Put your magazine in the hands of some of the most respected editors working in b2b journalism today and benefit from their colleague-to-colleague analysis of what you and your staff are doing right and what you could be doing better.

Give yourself objective, outside analyses that can show the decision makers in your organization how to take your content to the next level. With our Magazine Critique Service (MCS), you’ll get detailed feedback on specific editorial and design aspects of your publication.

• Improve your publication
• Stay ahead of the competition
• Increase readership
• Keep your staff on track

To view a sample report in PDF format, click here: Sample #1 or Sample #2.

The next iteration of the Magazine Critique Service is planned to start up in October 2024; for off-season critiques, please email for availability. For more details, see the frequently asked questions below. 

“I highly recommend the … Critique Service to anyone who wants an unbiased, professional opinion about their publication.The report I received was detailed, thorough, and provided all the information I needed to guide our committee members toward accepting a much-needed redesign — it gave us a roadmap to follow!”

— Scheryl A. McDavid
Publications Director
American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists

Frequently Asked Questions

Why participate?
The MCS offers solid advice from veteran b2b editors, designers and publishing consultants at prices less than typically found in the b2b publication market. It can serve as a first step for smaller and mid-size magazines interested in gauging their current performance. It provides objective, outside analyses, providing insight on whether you’re effectively meeting your readers’ needs. Carefully reviewing the MCS report with your entire staff allows your publication to brainstorm over what’s working and what needs improvement.

How does it work?
You submit two recent issues of your publication, and we’ll have our team of editors and designers examine them. Two editors and one designer review each submission, so you’ll get a variety of opinions. You will receive a report detailing all the comments from the reviewers.

Who reviews the submissions? What are their qualifications
We have an elite squad of real editors and designers who have the skills, knowledge and experience to help you create a better product. Will they all be from the biggest b2b magazines, all publications that you have heard of? Not necessarily. We’re not so much interested in “b2b celebrities” as in editors and designers who who have served as competition judges, won awards in their home countries, actively work in their professional associations: people with a passion for the b2b magazine world. The goal is to have everyday — but experienced — editors and designers giving real-world feedback. A selection of past reviewers includes:

Robert Freedman, senior editor, REALTOR Magazine
Shawn Hoefler, art director, HPAC Engineering
Robin Sherman, former editorial director, Argus Publishing
Jyme Mariani, managing editor, GM Pro
Karen Angus, art director, GIE Media
Jennifer Hicks, executive editor, Foodservice Equipment Reports
Len Strazewski, journalism faculty, Columbia College Chicago
Frank Alkyer, publisher, Downbeat/Music Inc./UpBeat Daily
Paul Conley, popular b2b blogger and head of Paul Conley Consulting

Will the people reviewing my magazine be in a similar industry?
Chances are, no; b2b magazines can be categorized in perhaps 120 industries. Having multiple reviewers in each discipline would be a logistical nightmare. Plus, reviewers will examine the journalistic qualities of your magazine and how it serves the reader, not focus on your particular technology or industry.

Can I pick my reviewer?
Unfortunately, no. However, if you choose to participate in future years, we will work to ensure that the same reviewer does not critique your magazine twice.

What do the reviewers look at?
We have separate forms for our editorial and design reviewers. In general, individual pieces of the magazine undergo scrutiny: the cover, table of contents, features, columns, departments. Reviewers examine writing’s impact, usefulness to the reader, flow, tone, and other items. They also scrutinize use of white space, photographs, illustrations, fonts, colors, and general layout issues.

How do I implement the suggestions I receive?
We suggest that you thoroughly review the report with your editorial and design staff. There will certainly be things that you agree and disagree with. The concept of the MCS is that your report will allow you to take the first step with your staff in identifying what content issues your publication has. Perhaps you will decide that the actions required are obvious, and you can prioritize them among your co-workers. Or, you may determine that you need further help, and that hiring a consultant is a must. In that case, our staff will be happy to recommend some magazine consultants we are familiar with.

How much does it cost? 
Participating in the MCS won’t break your budget. For the Standard Critique, the cost is $775 (U.S.); we’ll have three members of our team evaluate your sample issues page by page, and we’ll return the complete results to you in an electronic or binder format, whichever you prefer. To view a sample report, click here: 
Sample #1 or Sample #2.

What if I want more? 
If you want more feedback, we also offer a Premium Critique service. For $1,125 (U.S.), one of your three reviewers will be a TABPI-approved editorial consultant. In addition to the report, the consultant will conduct a one-hour conference call with you and your staff … allowing for more detailed, interactive feedback and a question-and-answer session.

What have other magazines thought about the MCS? 
We’d be happy to refer you to past magazines that have gone through the process; drop us an email if you’d like to receive contact information.

What’s my return on the investment? 
The service is a good investment for magazines desiring a revamp or a refresh after years in the industry. You get to ride on the experts’ learning and minimize costly trial and error situations. More dynamic editorial and design equates to more credibility with readers and advertisers, who will recognize your publication as the voice for the industry it covers.

How long does it take?
The average processing time is approximately 8-10 weeks from the time we receive your materials.

What’s the deadline?
The expected deadline will be about December 12th, 2024.

Ship completed entries and payment to:

2024 Magazine Critique Service
8870 Lakeview Dr.
Olmsted Falls, OH 44138