Publishing Their Chamber of Commerce Business Directory In-House Reaps Huge Returns

Citrus County Chamber of Commerce’s “Community Guide & Business Directory” generates almost 2x ad sales, a 30% return, 5x more non-dues revenue and a contemporary magazine-style design using Chamber Marketing Partners’ project management model for publications

The Citrus County Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Destination Guide & Business Directory” had been produced by a traditional chamber directory publisher for many years, but Josh Wooten, Citrus County Chamber’s CEO and his staff were looking for more non-dues revenue, and more control over the project. Publishing in-house seemed like the way to go, but would it be a major undertaking?  Josh and his team talked with a few colleagues and learned that Chamber Marketing Partners had a solid, sustainable model for in-house publishing. With some trepidation, staff were willing to give it a try.

Member Relations Manager Corrine Sachewicz took on the ad sales. With a desire to make this project a success, and having regular ad sales coaching with Chamber Marketing Partners, Corrine knocked sales out of the park, blowing past the goal and nearly doubling the prior year’s sales.

The Chamber was fortunate to have Public Relations & Communications Manager Jade White available to write the editorial content in a way that is engaging for the reader and tells a compelling story.

Bottom line? Ad sales nearly doubled, the chamber’s percentage return tripled to 30%, the Chamber controlled the cash, the Chamber’s non-dues revenue was five-times higher than before, staff was minimally burdened and, the Chamber had complete control.

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“Because we had a very bad experience with a publishing house… the board wanted a level of confidence that we weren’t gambling with members’ money. So, controlling the money was very important. A CEOs job is to keep the board happy. And they were very happy with the whole process… It made for a helluva partnership!”

Josh Wooten

President/CEO, Citrus County Chamber of Commerce

“I think total control of the project, and being able to watch the budget… we’re the ones that have the relationship with our members… So, it’s another touch [with the members] for me… an opportunity to reach them again, and continue that relationship”

Corrine Sachewicz

Member Relations Manager, Citrus County Chamber of Commerce

Three Florida chamber CEOs discuss “Is Publishing In-House Worth The Effort?”


Panel includes Josh Wooten, CEO of Citrus County Chamber, Kathy Lehner, CEO of Venice Area Chamber and Robert Goltz, CEO of Greater Fort Myers Chamber.

Kathy inherited an in-house publication project and was looking for help to manage the project.  Josh converted to in-house after using a traditional publisher forever.  Robert also converted to in-house while he was CEO at Key West after always using traditional publishers.

Chamber Marketing Partners, Inc. provides a sustainable model for in-house publishing, streamlining processes, unburdening staff, and bringing deep magazine publishing experience to the Chamber’s management team.  Our unique model provides as-needed resources, helping increase sales, reduce costs and improve non-dues revenue contribution.

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