SIPAlert Daily – The advantages of strategizing social media

In the past, we had our business life and our personal life—one email address for each, one phone number for each, etc. Today?

- After the Marketing Conference last year, I was friended on Facebook by a colleague I met from a now-former member company. I still get updates on his family’s scuba vacations, but really only want to urge him to rejoin SIPA.

- Here are two recent tweets from Louise White, a former SIPA UK board member: “…engagement riles me even more than paywalls. I prefer the honesty of ‘hits.’” “On way home to round 2 of the cat/child/armchair grudge match.”

- On LinkedIn I get requests to connect from friends and colleagues, some I barely even know. Do I say yes to everyone?

It seems as if any lines that used to exist on social media between work and personal have been washed away over the last couple years. Questions persist about whether this is a good thing, and that’s without getting into the legal ramifications of who owns Twitter lists when an employee leaves and what employers should and can do to prevent any “problems.” I put the quotes there because younger people—the Millennials—probably don’t see any potential problems from their mixing work and personal. And for the most part, they might be right.

Once upon a not-too-long time ago, marketing and editorial stood at opposite ends with a large moat in between—not too different from professional and personal. But the times they are a -changin’ fast. In fact, one of the best sessions at December’s Marketing Conference in Las Vegas will be “Your New Best Friend: The Editorial/Marketing Relationship.” Representatives from two of the largest SIPA members, Access Intelligence and CQ Roll Call, will be presenting success stories that probably couldn’t have happened five years ago.

On Friday, I spoke to Andy Swindler, president of Astek. He and Rachel Yeomans, his VP account strategy, are always among the thought leaders when it comes to issues such as this one. Andy was dealing with his own crisis—an office building with the water turned off—but he was kind enough to weigh in a bit for me.

“To some extent, like all networking, it’s not all about business,” he said. “Our personalities do come into play [in the professional world] especially with a company like ours that does creative consulting. You’ll see @aswindler at the bottom of my correspondences, both personal and professional. So along with the consulting I do you’ll see the burger I posted on Foursquare last week. Part of bringing social media into work is celebrating our personalities. We’re not all automotons sitting in a factory, It matters. That’s often how people decide who to work with, and [social media can be] a reflection of who we are.

“That being said, companies should have a social media policy that will define whether or not employees can use their personal channels to help build the brand. You want a series of guidelines on how you should do that.” By the way, Andy will be speaking in Vegas on keyword strategy, and during breaks on this and any other interesting topic that comes up.

As for most SIPA members, you get the feeling that social media is still not at the top of their agendas. The fact that you can’t really assign an ROI makes it difficult to put aside renewals and email marketing to work on. But it’s just too encompassing now to ignore.

Ragan Communications led me to a study that “shows that companies should focus more on managing employees as reputation builders and brand ambassadors” through social media. The thinking is that they’re going to be on social media anyway, so you might as well try to manage the process so it helps you.

Here’s part of a statement from one of the researchers: “We observe an increasing and consistent need to address the heightened role of employees in social media, regardless of whether the company has an official presence there. This need emerges from the fact that employees have a crucial role as active meaning makers and reputation builders in various social-media networks that include customers, colleagues and friends, and in which the boundaries between work and non-work roles begin to lose their sharp contours. Hence, the ways in which companies balance between managing work and private lives of their employees as well as openness and control becomes an issue that needs careful attention.”

Swindler also would like to see more SIPA members go from dipping their toe in the water to taking the plunge when it comes to social media. “Social networks are designed to amplify and grow the brand,” he said. “You can ask, how much individual personality is there in branding and marketing? But it’s people who make the business.”

Speaking of Ragan, Jenny Fukumoto, the marketing manager there and another thought leader on social media, will be leading a session on that topic in Las Vegas. You kind of get the feeling that a lot will be taking place there—business-wise, I mean. Though I’m sure that tweets from attendees that week will cover the gamut.

Oh, if you’d like to keep up with SIPA activities on social media, I tweet from @sipaonline, and Luis Hernandez, vice president of SIPA, tweets from @LuisinDC18.


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Ronn LevineRonn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 as managing editor. Follow Ronn on Twitter at @SIPAOnline

20 great tips for publishers from SIPA Conference 2013 Washington DC

Hundreds of specialist publishers gathered in Washington DC in June to swap practical ideas on making more money in niche markets at the 37th annual SIPA conference. If you missed, it, here are my top 20 tips from the event.

SIPA Conference 2013

[Read more...]

Webinar: 2013 SIIA Marketing Report Overview

In Q4 of 2012 the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) conducted the second annual “Software Division Marketing Industry Report”. The survey interviewed marketing executives about their company’s use of email, mobile marketing and social media to build their brand, gain leads, and improve customer support.

This webinar will provide insight into the results of the survey including how marketers have changed their focus over the course of the year. You will learn the metrics marketers are watching to determine ROI of marketing activities and the areas where marketers continue to face challenges. Following an overview of the marketing survey results, you will hear from Marketo and SoftServe who will share their marketing strategies and best practices for ROI.

Click on the links below to view a copy of each presenters slides:

Marketing Report Overview

Keys to Marketing Success

5 Secrets to Marketing Success

Rhianna Collier
Vice President, Software Division, SIIA

Mary Brandon
Vice President, Marketing, SoftServe

Jason Miller
Social Media Manager, Marketo


Meet Previews Presenting Company Delve

Sandeep Ayyappan, CEO, Delve

Meet Previews Presenting Company Delve, from the voice of the CEO, Sandeep Ayyappan.

What does Delve Do?
Delve helps organizations turn news into knowledge using a personalized news reader for each employee and a private social layer where anyone can recommend and discuss relevant stories with their colleagues.

What is your secret sauce that will make you successful?
We use our algorithms to identify and recommend the most relevant stories to professionals in a range of industries, and then we make it much easier to engage colleagues on what they’re reading and why it matters. Being able to find better stories and share them more easily creates better questions and conversations inside any organization.

What are you looking to achieve in presenting at IIS (Investors, Partners, Content)?
We’re currently working on our seed round and we’re looking for potential strategic investors, and we’d love to build relationships with publishers who might be interested in distributing content through our platform as well.

What would you say is your favorite breakthrough technology or company?
I don’t recall a technology that changed my life in as many ways as the original iPhone. I bought it a few months after the first one came out. It was painfully slow and often couldn’t get reception, but how much it allowed me to do and the simplicity of its interface changed the way I listened to music, talked on the phone, played games, and even surfed the internet.

Learn more about Delve, and the other 2013 Previews Presenting companies at IIS Breakthrough. Each presenting company will deliver a 5-minute presentation to an audience of key decision makers during the IIS Breakthrough event being held from January 30-31, 2013 in New York City. Presenting companies will also have 5-minutes for audience Q&A and an opportunity to showcase their companies to IIS attendees during the SIIA Previews and CODIEs Showcase and Networking reception. To top things off, the IIS audience will vote on the company they believe is most likely to succeed.

About Previews
Over the past six years, SIIA Previews has showcased innovative content companies, including publishers, media, aggregators, and technology plays, and 2013 SIIA Previews will feature the 100th Preview Company!

Twitter and LinkedIn: It is Complicated!

 We are excited about our partnership with the InfoCommerce Group to produce DataContent 2012, coming up October 9-11 in Philadephia. The conference will focus on discovering the next big thing in publishing: The intersection of Data, Community and Markets at DataContent 2012. If you don’t know him, Russ Perkins the founder of InfoCommerce Group, is one of the more thoughtful individuals in our industry on all things data. As we lead up to the conference, we will be highlighting posts from his blog which focus on the issues and topics we will be discussing at DataContent 2012. Enjoy!

Twitter and LinkedIn: It’s Complicated

On June 29, Twitter and LinkedIn decided to end a partnership that began in 2009…the separation is a story which illustrates the difference between how collaboration looks on paper and how it plays out in practical terms when collaborating companies mature and change and business models uncomfortably bump up against one another. Read more…


This post was written by Nancy Ciliberti.

Got Klout?

We are excited about our partnership with the InfoCommerce Group to produce DataContent 2012, coming up October 9-11 in Philadephia. The conference will focus on discovering the next big thing in publishing: The intersection of Data, Community and Markets at DataContent 2012. If you don’t know him, Russ Perkins the founder of InfoCommerce Group, is one of the more thoughtful individuals in our industry on all things data. As we lead up to the conference, we will be highlighting posts from his blog which focus on the issues and topics we will be discussing at DataContent 2012. Enjoy!


Imagine a business based on a mash-up of social media, analytics and ratings. And that’s exactly where a company called Klout plays.

Klout exists to assess your social media importance. Using advanced algorithms, it looks at how active you are in social media, how big your audience is, how influential are the people in your audience, and the impact of your social media activity. All this gets rolled up in a Klout score – a number from 1 to 100… Read more.


 Post is written by Russell Perkins, Founder & Managing Director, InfoCommerce Group Inc.

Russell has over 20 years experience in all facets of the database publishing industry. He is the author of Directory Publishing: A Practical Guide, which is now in its fifth edition, and InfoCommerce: Internet Strategies for Database Publishers.

VIA Recap

Angus Robertson

On May 9 & 10, the SIIA Content Division hosted Content VIA Platforms – a conference dedicated to educating media, publishing and information professionals about the technology and business issues related to distributing content via mobile, social and other platforms. Guest blogger, Angus Robertson, Principal Robertson Advisors LLC, gives his write up on the Conference and the content covered. 

About Robertson Advisors:  For 10 years Robertson Advisors has been providing content creators and distributors with strategic and tactical consulting services. Angus can be reached at

A major theme emerging from SIIA’s Content VIA Platforms conference in San Francisco last week was the impact that mobile is having on the distribution of content.

One lesson from the success of iPad apps is that the simplicity dictated by the format can be a benefit that has relevance to other offerings as well.  The limitations of apps forces greater focus on what is truly important, a lesson that is increasingly being incorporated into web products.

Newstex President Larry Schwartz offered a useful walk through of the process and timeline of developing mobile apps. He stressed the importance of following the Lean Startup model of “Nail it and scale it.”

Dan Bennett, VP of Technology for Thomson Reuters, provided a handy comparison of the pros and cons of native apps versus HTML5 and sounded a note of caution about jumping on the app bandwagon.  Developing and supporting apps for Apple devices always adds to costs but not always to revenue, so it is important to understand what you are trying to do with apps, he said.  He likens apps to puppies: everyone loves them until they get big and tear apart the house.

Barry Graubart, VP Marketing, ReisReports, led an informative Executive Bootcamp on Platforms that included Teri Mendelsohn of Mendelsohn Consulting, Ann Michael of Delta Think, Robin Neidorf of Free Pint and Mark Strohlein of Agile Business Logic.

Some of the key pointers from this session were:

Mobile strategy needs to:

  • embrace the constraints; focus and simplify; and leverage mobile features such as geolocation, but only where they add value.
  • iPads are now outselling PCS, which represent less than 50% of the market.
  • About one in ten new products will be successful.

Security and authentication remains a significant hindrance to going fully mobile in the enterprise market, especially for businesses such as financial institutions. Still,  Free Pint surveys of enterprise users show that mobile is growing strongly in the corporate world. Two years ago Junior Analysts were asking “Why can’t I get this on my iPhone?” Now, senior executives are saying “Get this on my iPad, I don’t care how.”

Peter Marney, VP Content Group, Thomson Financial Research, gave an overview of how Thomson Reuters is handling the issue of fully leveraging the vast amounts of data across the company to support multiple platforms and markets.  His goal is to make news dynamic and interactive across the merged enterprise. “Knowing the value of the connections (between content) is more important than the content itself,” he said, citing the links between companies, people, patents and legal issues.