Frontline magazine

Frontline, is the CSP member magazine.

How popular is Frontline?

The last annual member survey found that 64% of respondents rated Frontline as useful and that  52% prefer to get information via Frontline, compared to 32% by e-bulletin or 6% for Twitter. 59% thought the magazine had improved thanks to design and content changes made during 2015.

Why is Frontline automatically sent as a hard copy?

Members have told us they feel that the hard copy format makes it stand out from the electronic communications they receive. Members can opt out of receiving Frontline as a hard copy, but most do not.

Why isn’t Frontline a digital magazine?

Frontline is available in both digital and hard copy formats. News items are available online before the hard copy is distributed. Our communications approach is to offer a range of different channels of communication. This is because all the evidence we have suggests that no single approach will be right for the majority if our members. Providing information across more channels means we reach a greater number of our members.

Why is Frontline published 21 times a year?

We do review this annually. When we last asked members 56% said roughly two-weekly is about right.

Even with the current frequency we can’t cover everything suggested. If we reduce frequency we might have to more strictly focus content on CSP priority campaigns and advice, which would mean less member suggested content.

Experience from other publications  suggest that as frequency falls recognition of the information provided falls disproportionately.

Our advertisers find the frequency of Frontline a positive. It allows relatively swift inclusion and the opportunity of regular multiple adverts.

How does the CSP test Frontline with readers?

We use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. We ask questions about member communications preferences and views in our annual member survey. We have run regular focus groups for specific member segments over the last few years and have asked about their views on Frontline in those focus groups. In addition, when we reviewed Frontline, we ran additional focus groups to test views in more depth and to test alternative formats.

We  welcome direct member feedback via

What has the insight told you?

There is high awareness of the magazine amongst members. It is one of the most used sources of CSP information. Members feel that the hard copy format makes it stand out from the mainly electronic communications they receive. They prefer a less formal tone.

Most members look at the cover or flick through the magazine to find content of interest – they read it quickly at work or at home. The most read sections are ‘Comment, ‘News’ and ‘Networks and Networking’. Members are generally most interested in reading about:

  • What others in the profession are doing
  • Clinical/professional developments
  • How physiotherapists reach unusual or interesting positions
  • Anything that has human interest, ‘a feel good factor’, humour or is inspirational
  • How the CSP responds to the big national health/physio issues in the news
  • What the CSP is doing to support members and promote the profession.

Members working in the private sector are least interested in reading anything presented as union news.Prior to changes the magazine was perceived as being written predominantly for established NHS physiotherapists.

Since this was blog first published the CSP commissioned and external research firm to do a large scale quantitative and qualities study of member views. This found that Frontline is one of the top benefits identified and valued by CSP members. We are still analysing the report and underlying date and planning some follow up research to het more detailed feedback on Frontline content.

What have you done as a result?

We redesigned the magazine and changed our editorial approach. We now have a policy of deliberately seeking to cover a wider range of members; from across all corners of the British Isles, in all sectors and in all stages of their career. We have introduced a range of new regular features, for example on awards and research findings. We have also tried to get away from artificial “union” and “professional” distinctions in stories and instead aim to reflect the holistic experience members have at work or in business.

We have also developed alternative ways of reaching some of the groups who read Frontline less. We have introduced bespoke e-bulletins for students, associates and newly qualified members.

Why isn’t there more scientific content?

Physiotherapy is the official CSP scientific journal. Frontline fills a different role, covering a wider range of issues in a more accessible style. This does include clinical content and the promotion of journal content. Research amongst members suggested that they want Frontline to be more about “translating” research and signposting clinical issues.

What input do qualified physiotherapists have into the content?

We commission many articles directly from physiotherapists. Any member can suggest articles to the Editor via

Where non-physiotherapists write articles with clinical aspects, they are expected to verify the content with a specialist member or one of the CSP in house physiotherapists.

Why does Frontline carry advertising for services or products which some people regard as not representing best practice?

Adverts are an important source of income for the CSP. Whilst the content is the responsibility of the advertisers and the inclusion of adverts in no way represents an endorsement by the CSP, all advertisements are accepted in good faith according to the Code of Advertising Practice as laid out by the Advertising Standards Authority.

It is part of professional responsibility of every physiotherapist to critically appraise services and offers. The CSP can’t do this for members, especially when there is legitimate debate within the profession on some modalities.

How much does Frontline cost?

The net budgeted costs in 2016 were £562,000. This is made up mainly of postage and print costs, less advertising and sales income. It does not include staff costs as the staff involved work across a range of channels.

Can I opt out and save money?

You can opt out of receiving the hard copy and rely on the online version, however we can’t offer a discount for this. Any individual member may use some CSP services more than others, or different services at different times. We can’t offer both a comprehensive range of services and be financially sustainable on an “a la carte” basis.

Does not taking the print copy reduce costs for the CSP?

It does save on postage but most production costs are fixed regardless of the number we print and printing is not priced by individual copy.

How can I opt out?

It is simple to opt out of receiving the hard copy. You can opt out of receiving Frontline simply by contacting the CSP Enquiries Team. Email or call us on 020 7306 6666.

What would be involved in moving to an opt-in system?

Moving to opt-in would mean making a number of changes to the CSP website and CRM. We’d also need to undertake a major member comms project to explain what we were doing and to encourage members to sign up. This would take staff time and incur some costs.


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