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Actionable Marketing and Sales Steps From a Crisis Webinar

I just listened to an excellent webinar from a company called MCI USA titled "COVID-19: Communicate Empathically, Plan Strategically," with Brittany Shoul speaking from a sales and partnerships viewpoint, and Rachel Dillion on member services.   It was fairly basic but in a good way—meaning that they clearly laid out positive strategies for working with your audiences at this special time. Here are some key takeaways.   Focus on the gap methodology. The plans that we all put in place two weeks ago aren't the plans today. And who knows what the future will bring. Focus on the middle. Our key stakeholders are experiencing a level of uncertainty that we're all experiencing. There's a place now between the current state (unarguably not great) and the future state. Make the most of the time now.   Have conversations with your customers. Shoul and Dillon said that the natural inclination at this time might be to withdraw, but ...

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SIPA March Member News

SIPA Members Excel in Their Close Coverage of COVID-19   BioWorld is closely following the race to find a treatment. Today's article is titled Clinical Testing and The New Virtual Reality in Time of COVID-19. "It took less than a week from the publication of Science 37's whitepaper on March 12 encouraging virtual clinical trials to the FDA's decision to endorse the idea, tailored to address the COVID-19 pandemic," Lee Landenberger writes. Yesterday's story was Moving in Record Time, Industry, Government, Investors Focus on One Mission: Beat COVID-19.   InsideARM keeps all the COVID-19 articles affecting their niche—debt collection—in one place on their site. Today's article focuses on a bill introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to expand consumer protections for consumers and small businesses during a major disaster or emergency. Sen. Elizabeth Warren&n ...

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Virtual Event Platforms Are Out There, Listening and Ready to Fill in

I peeked into Education Week's Online Summit last week and was very impressed. Halfway through they already had almost 1,000 live attendees and 550 comments! It took place on a platform called Brazen, that's usually associated more with virtual career fairs. But it works very well for their summits which are centered around text-based chats with editorial staff—and experts in the K-12 world—and entering various "reporter" or "sponsor" rooms.   "Brazen has been with us since the beginning of our online summits," Matthew Cibellis, director of programming for live and virtual events for Education Week, wrote to me today. "That's because we were already using them for our online job fairs. The price tag back then was too high, and we didn't have sufficient job fair sponsorship to merit keeping them. But my production director asked me to meet with them to discuss how versatile it could be for more content-driven meet-ups. Brazen only convinced me when I st ...

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'Move as Fast as You Can'; Event Experts Advise on Postponements, Outreach and Platforms

Whether you cancel or postpone an event should be "based on the information you have today. You have to look to your customers," said Alicia Evanko, executive vice president, Travel Group Global Events, Northstar Travel Group, during a webinar Thursday on Coronavirus and Your Events: How to Make Decisions that Protect Your Business and the Safety of Your Staff. (Members can watch the webinar or download a written transcript here.)   "For us our final decision to postpone our May event was customer feedback. You want to plan these things now. Because come the fall, everyone is moving their events. You want to get out ahead. Any event in May or June, it's a tough call... You have to consider who your audience is, how big your event is and if you want to keep it in the same calendar year. The sooner you get there the better."   Even in the couple days since that webinar, May events seem more fleeting. Evanko offered an example of an event that they wanted to m ...

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Keep Regular Hours, Set Up Check-ins and Get Dressed, Remote Experts Say

We've all been reading a lot this week about working from home, managing remote workers, throwing our dog or cat off our desks, etc. I did read one good article that I can't find now (!) that said it's beneficial to actually CALL two people every evening and talk a while—not a conference call, not a question for a webinar. A conversation.   And, of course, any way you can electronically create those watercooler run-ins—Slack, Zoom, Google apps—do it. "Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions," Steve Jobs famously said. "You run into someone, you ask what they're doing, you say 'Wow,' and soon you're cooking up all sorts of ideas."   I have received a few good tips on working from home that I'd like to share. Thanks to SIIA's own Jenny Baranowski—who has magically and mostly invisibly run our CODiE Awards for many years—for the first five.   Connect on an IM platform. Many of us are al ...

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Keep Emails Short, Clear and Accessible During Crisis Times

In the novel Emma by Jane Austen—and in the film that's out now—Harriet Smith shows Emma a letter of proposal from Mr. Martin, a farmer. Not realizing at first that Mr. Knightley helped him with the letter, Emma is quite "surprized" by the strength and style it commands.   "There were not merely no grammatical errors, but as a composition it would not have disgraced a gentleman; the language, though plain, was strong and unaffected, and the sentiments it conveyed very much to the credit of the writer. It was short, but expressed good sense..." (In the movie, we even see how short and neat the letter is.)   I bring this up because in an article on CNN last week, Todd Rogers, a professor of public policy at Harvard University and chief scientist at EveryDay Labs, wrote that there is a problem with the way organizations, schools and airlines communicate in crisis times like this. Above all, they write too long.   "...if t ...

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How the Journal Sentinel Mobilized its Reporters to Grow Subscriptions

I once asked Dan Fink, managing director of Money-Media, if he's transparent with his staff. He said that, "when it comes to how the business is doing, yes. It creates accountability and keeps people on the same page."   The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently adopted that transparency—meaning they emphasized to the newsroom that growing their subscriber base is the responsibility of everyone—and put their journalists on the frontlines of social media, writing about their work, how they do it, and most importantly, asking for people to subscribe.   Sensing that their digital audience was bigger than their digital subscriber base, Rachel Piper, digital news director at the Journal Sentinel, said that leaders there "asked our individual journalists to be ambassadors for digital subscriptions on social media." In an article on the site Better News—a project of the American Press Institute and the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative&m ...

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‘The Core Job of Journalists Isn’t Going Away’ - ALM’s New AI Content Tool Shows Human Plus Machine is the Way Forward

Last month, legal publisher ALM introduced Legal Radar, a “first-of-its-kind website and app” that uses artificial intelligence and natural language generation to offer faster and more personalized user experiences.

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Sorting Your Events Now and Finding 'Complements' for the Future

We've all seen the obvious hits that events are starting to take. Tom Hagy of HB Litigation Conferences wrote a thoughtful response on the Discussion Forum this morning why he "backed off the event business last year."   "It's too vulnerable. Vulnerable to everything from weather to calamity to greedy employees and partners who don't hesitate to take the money and run," he wrote. "I never intended it to be a standalone operation. It was always a great complement to what else I was doing..."   Of course, that doesn't help our present situation. But the Discussion Forum is in other ways. There has been a solid strand on cancellation policies. Ed Coburn of Cabot Wealth Network posted a policy that his colleague Linda Vassaly found from Hubspot:   "First things first: the INBOUND team's foremost goal is to keep you, our future attendees, safe. We're optimistic that COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) will be contained before INBOUN ...

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