GX: The Guard Experience
Client: United States Army National Guard
Audience: Army National Guard Soldiers
GX magazine is mailed bimonthly to the homes of 215,000 Army National Guard Soldiers, along with 54 bimonthly bulk shipments of an additional 5,000 copies to National Guard installations. The website for GX is www.GXonline.com
Soldiers and Families of the United States Army National Guard
The United States Army National Guard must maintain and nurture a constantly physically and emotionally ready and well-trained force of approximately 350,000 soldiers for both State and Federal missions. The Guard sought solutions for a centralized engagement platform to drive retention and influence recruiting.
When the magazine launched in 2004, two wars were flaring, as well as the cyclical flair of natural disasters. There was a tremendous need to retain and recruit soldiers. This need has not died down despite the scale downed war effort, particularly to retain the now-combat experienced and STEM-skilled individuals that have entered the ranks over the past 10 years. The Army National Guard force is spread out in 3,500 communities across the United States, as well as experiencing numerous deployments worldwide at all times. Soldiers are inherently disconnected from “the big picture” and lack understanding of what their service can offer them and their families. Traditional Federal government communication tactics of memos, emails and web portals fail to resonate with the Soldiers and families at the local level.
In 2003, iostudio proposed that the Army National Guard create a high-quality magazine that unites this widely dispersed force through engaging, high-value content. This would serve to enhance pride in service, sharing of their service experience and growth in service. In 2004, GX published its first issue. GX focuses on helping Soldiers and their families live happier, healthier lives through rich content informing them with financial and career advancement guides, relationship and communication tips, and physical and emotional fitness guides. Further, GX shares the personal stories of Soldiers and their families, as well as the missions, training and technology impacting troops today and in the future.
GX is now in its 12th year of publishing and has received more than 40 industry awards, including two Pearl Awards and a Folio Ozzie. More than 90% of GX readers believe it is a valuable recruiting and retention tool and more than 80% share it with friends and family. GX has captured and chronicled the Guard and its Soldiers’ personal legacies through its most courageous and active years since WW2. Three United States Presidents, three Secretaries of Defense and two Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, as well as more than 50 Governors and Generals have worked with GX in both exclusive interviews and exclusive messages because they know that GX is the only government communication medium that Soldiers will read and respect. GX truly is a perfect example of custom content making a profound and positive impact.