‘A Good Time to Try New Things’; Audio and Other New Content Can Build Value

How many of us thought that, before all this, working from home would yield less production? Guilty. But as we’ve adapted, the opposite has been true, raising the question: How do you turn off the work valve? Similarly, innovation has not suffered either. Recognition programs, new audio and virtual event content have all stayed strong, with exciting wrinkles added in.

“A crisis is no reason to stop innovation,” wrote Gideon Spanier, UK editor-in-chief of Haymarket Media’s Campaign, in an excellent post last week titled, “What We Have Learned at Campaign in a Year Since Lockdown.”

“In fact, it’s a good time to try new things: from a vertical, scrolling digital version of the monthly magazine (we tried it in June and July) to the launch of The Knowledge, our new, premium subscription service with in-depth forecasts about advertising trends and columns, and Advertising Intelligence, a data tracker for agency new business performance.”

Spanier also emphasized our humanity. “Kindness and collaboration matter,” he wrote. “A crisis brings a team closer and encourages collaboration, including between the editorial and commercial teams of Campaign”—always a good thing in our dispense-with-silos times.

Here are three other good ideas that I’ve seen lately—effective and replicable.

Use a recognition program to create ongoing relationships. The 2020 Emerging Leaders Class for ACSD (pictured), an association of educators at all levels, bursts with esteemed superintendents, teachers, founders (one for the Minorities Achieving College Success) and senior administrators. “Elevating educational leadership is the heart of what we do at ASCD, and our emerging leaders exemplify leadership at its best,” ASCD CEO and Executive Director Ranjit Sidhu said in a September 2020 press release.

“These educators strengthen our community and our organization. We are excited to welcome our new class and look forward to working together in the years to come.” What stands out here is that this is a partnership that will continue. ASCD Emerging Leaders are enrolled in the program for two years and invited to participate in multiple opportunities, including, when circumstances allow, attending the invitation-only Leader to Leader convening, writing for ASCD publications, and hosting the ASCD podcast. There are also avenues for leadership opportunities in the association. ASCD adds that “alumni from the program have become ASCD authors, faculty members and board members.” It’s a good way to increase diversity of all types.

Let your event sessions live on! Business Valuation Resources put on a very successful Virtual Divorce Conference in the fall. To add even more value to their event and keep within a reasonable daily view time, they added bonus sessions weeks before and after the main event. And then, at the end of the year, they posted a blog titled, “Top 10 Tips From the 2020 AAML/BV Virtual Divorce Conference.” (Apparently, judging by number 8, the cat that we all think is so cute to see in our staff meetings isn’t that great when testifying online.) “If you weren’t able to attend the virtual conference, you’re in luck! You can get the training pack of the entire 2020 AAML/BVR Virtual Divorce Conference here,” they write. We had two people ask about getting our BIMS 2020 conference sessions yesterday, so it’s worth the continued shout outs.

Develop audio content just for subscribers/members. The New Yorker has started a new show just for subscribers called New Yorker Live at 6-7 pm on certain evenings. Attendees don’t need to reserve tickets or register; they just sign in to newyorker.com/live before each event to view the live stream and participate in Q&A sessions. As someone who signs up for a lot of events, I appreciate how easy they make it. Initial guests this week include poet, activist, and author Amanda Gorman, Jeremy O. Harris, a celebrated playwright and producer, and tonight Rep. Joaquin Castro and the author Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. Of course, this is consumer, but 6-7 pm or 5-6 pm can be interesting times for B2B audio as well. I see so much audio and video content taking place during the day that I don’t have the time to access.

Spanier’s ending lines really hit home. “One final measure of this last, weird 12 months. I have not seen a single member of the Campaign editorial or commercial team face to face since the start of that first lockdown. It is exciting to think what all of us can achieve when we meet again.”

Very true. Our awesome IT guy Dan met me at the old office one day in January to help load me up for home. And I met another friend/colleague for pizza on a cold outdoor terrace at our favorite restaurant. That’s it for me. Hopefully, better—and more social—days lie ahead.

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