My colleague and I work at an Open Access journal, published by a regional scholarly association. The field is Communication and Media Studies. Recently we started to encounter problems with reaching out for authors. We use a small set of professional email lists, listservers and newsletters to disseminate our Call for Articles, which worked in the past 3 years; meaning we always had enough quality submissions from which we could build up a full and content-wise well-balanced issue.
Problem is that recently, we launched a digital marketing campaign after which we received only a handful of manuscripts with average to good publication potential compared to a swarm of plagiarized/incomprehensive/ below-standard/simply uninteresting manuscript mainly from third world countries, India and China (just for clarifications, we do not collect author fees or APCs and all content are free for our readers, so I thought it was clear for everyone that we are not in the pay-to-publish business). We desk reject the majority but enough will remain to completely drain out our reviewer pool for the next 6 months.
I'm asking the community to suggest a better way of reaching out for professional authors. Locally, we are in Eastern Europe and the journal is not ISI or SCOPUS-indexed, so it is not the best for bean-counting purposes; but we have quality content and peer review process. Are there any techniques that should help us convincing western universities to circulate our calls or publish it on their websites? Anyone in the same shoes as we are?