Putting COVID-19 resource sections prominently on your site and in front of any paywall you might have seems to be a win-win-win proposition at this point. On Saturday Stephanie Williford, CEO of SIPA member EB Medicine, posted this on the Discussion Forum in response to an article about a subscription jump at Wired.
"We put our COVID content in front of the paywall on March 3rd and have seen an explosion in website traffic (153% increase) and a modest increase in subscriptions (9%) since the same time period last year," wrote Williford. "We're pretty happy with that all things considered—particularly since our customers (emergency physicians) are the ones on the frontlines managing this crisis. (They certainly have much bigger things to worry about right now than subscribing!) We also think the goodwill and brand awareness we're generating now will pay off in the long run. Plus, like the article below says, it was the right thing to do."
I just heard Kathryn Hamilton, vice president for marketing and communication at NAIOP (the Commercial Real Estate Development Association), speaking about something common for publishers now—their COVID-19 website resource. She said their FAQ page has received a tremendous amount of traffic—and saved staff time—as have their webinar listings. What I found particularly informative is a call for speaker expertise they did.
"We wanted to hear from experts," Hamilton said. "So we went to our membership with a list of topics and said, 'If you are an expert on this topic, we want to hear from you,' and we've gotten a great response."
It was just one example this week of publishers (and entertainment entities) adapting content-wise to our new normal. Pretty much everyone is home. Besides the obvious, what that means is key people might be more available to speak and contribute who normally would not be.
What else might your aud ...
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 ...
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 ...
As Education Week gears up for another Online Summit this afternoon—with more than 2000 registrants signed on—it is clear now that, knowingly or not, the publisher was amazingly prescient in starting these in 2018.
At De Correspondent, a Dutch, membership-based news site, journalists regularly turn to all 60,000 members to ask for potential sources, information and inspiration for new stories—a process that works so well that it expanded to the U.S. market as The Correspondent.
At the MelEdits blog, Melanie Padgett Powers, a big contributor to our Association Media & Publishing division, writes that organizations should develop a similar system when it comes to generating content.
“...put out a content creation call for sources in your regular e-newsletter,” she writes. “Plan ahead and regularly ask for contributions on specific topics... Continually monitor social media and your online communities to see what members are talking about—but also who is doing the talking.”
The benefits of this process are multifold: Not only will you be able to see what your members are talking about—and therefore what kind of content is relevant—bu ...
"...what really makes an outlet stand out, especially now in 2020, is being able to establish all your writers as distinct voices—people that readers will want to come back to read whatever they write. That's kind of one of my big focuses and goals—to make sure that our writers become [that] voice, and folks will want to read their latest stuff."
This is a guest blog post from Edwin Bailey, director of strategy, at Publish Interactive.
One theme of last month's stimulating Business Information & Media Summit was the continued breaking down of silos at publisher and media companies—especially when it comes to the rise of product.
We were fortunate at a Tuesday networking dinner to be joined by Debbie Bates-Schrott, founder and CEO of—as of last Thursday—the newly named Beyond Definition (formerly Bates Creative). The process of choosing and implementing a new name took well over a year, she said. There were multiple reasons for it—emphasizing that they go "beyond" design is a primary one—but it was spurred by her taking on Mark DeVito as a partner.