“Like most B2B publishers over the last three years, we’ve been trying to take our reach much higher up the value chain within the audience. We have VVIP segments within our audience, so a lot of the editors and editorial directors are running hang-outs for those groups.”
That’s from Jonathon Whiteley, CEO of Incisive Media, a large B2B publisher in the UK. It comes from an InPublishing article about Incisive’s strategy during the pandemic.
We’ve all been disrupted to different degrees during COVID-19. But when we do return to some sort of normalcy—hopefully soon—various types of virtual hang-outs may be one element we continue to see more of, especially if travel still lags.
Here are other elements that might remain prevalent post-pandemic:
Remote working. In comments from a video call last week published by Associations Now, Sunil Prashara, president and CEO of the Project Management Institute, said that workers’ increasing comfort with remote work and videoconferencing will outlast COVID-19. He also believes it can increase productivity. In a survey of some members we did here last week, 38% of respondents checked, “I actually like remote working and will do it more when offices reopen.”
News hubs. Incisive is yet another organization that was quick to create a Coronavirus news hub, a collection of content and resources focused on implications for the industries it covers. Almost every publisher I’ve interviewed has said their Coronavirus hub has brought excellent engagement—and goodwill because most are paywall-free. Of course, we all hope that nothing takes over our lives like COVID-19 has. But the success of these news hubs could provide a blueprint for future hubs around big-ticket or charitable topics.
More collaborative meetings. People are getting more comfortable with their cameras being on for meetings and making comments. In a webinar last October on managing remote employees, Dan Fink, managing director of Money-Media, said that “frequency of cameras being disabled has become an issue that we’ve tried to address. We are encouraging people to use the video component.” Added Prashara: “It’s very difficult for people to talk on top of each other because the system can’t handle it. People will give people the opportunity to finish a sentence before they talk and etiquette starts to get creative. You don’t even have to define it—it starts to happen.”
Better retention. “There are people here that we would’ve hated to lose if we didn’t allow them to work remotely,” Fink said. But I’ve also seen companies where working remotely has not been greeted as warmly. That may change. “It can reduce turnover,” said Heather Farley, COO of Access Intelligence, during that same webinar.
Thought leadership. “What we’re doing editorially… is making sure we’re putting out as much thought leadership as we can,” Whiteley said. “In our financial portfolio, we’re doing a lot more senior opinion format style interviews. Our financial portfolio is quite technical because we are often dealing so much with regulatory issues, so we’re doing a lot more longer form explainer pieces around the implications.”
Better listening. With more people working remotely, the sense of being “left out” of meetings may dissipate. Said Prashara: “There could be 30 people watching, but I’m just seeing your face and you’re just seeing my face—therefore, it’s a bit more intense. There’s more of a likelihood that you’re going to be listening a little bit more attentively.”
Better platforms and tools. Zoom, of course, has become hugely popular, and other similar platforms will follow. Copyrightlaws.com, was having great success with their Zoom On Ins prior to the pandemic. Making these platforms part of our everyday—even in the best of times—will only improve what we offer. Money-Media was quick to order “kits for a number of staff who were having difficulty being efficient in their home work space; things like a mouse, keyboard, monitor, office chair, etc.,” Fink said. “Most of these items are pretty inexpensive on amazon.com but go a long way to helping staff be productive and letting people know how much we appreciate their hard work during this crisis.”