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Connectiv To Merge With Major B2B Publishing Associations

Editor’s note: The following is an announcement from Jeff Joseph, President of Connectiv parent SIIA; Meg Hargreaves, SIIA Board Chair; and Kevin Novak, Connectiv Board Chair. 

We hope that this email finds you and your organization in good health and steering to solid ground during this time of upheaval and transformation. We have seen Connectiv members move with impressive agility and originality in accelerating and shifting strategies and operations and we have been pleased to see strong response to Connectiv programs designed to help you navigate these turbulent times.

We are excited to announce change is coming to Connectiv as well. SIIA, the parent association of Connectiv, is pleased to announce the consolidation of ConnectivAssociation Media and Publishing and the Specialized Information Publishers Association into one newly branded association, designed to bring greater value to your membership while retaining the high value programming, content and networking opportunities that have long been hallmarks of each division. This change follows a vote and passage by the SIIA board of a streamlined FY21 budget (effective July 1) and a strategic plan framework that included both this merger and the elimination of two other separate divisions, ETIN and SSD.

The board moved with both strategic and financial considerations in mind as the organization seeks to shape a compelling future-focused value proposition, retain popular programs and conserve resources under a single leader, unified brand and updated website. These efforts were obviously accelerated following COVID-19, which has dealt the Association as well as our members difficult challenges around live events. We are confident this new streamlined and consolidated membership group will be the premier membership organization for the specialized publishing, content, and media community, as we convene, develop, educate and advocate for current and emerging leaders of an industry undergoing rapid and continuous change.

This important effort is not taking place in a vacuum. We have convened a working group consisting of board members and representatives from the three associations to help develop value-added programming, content and a governance and operating structure that provides myriad volunteer opportunities. As we move forward, your interests will continue to be well represented via a new advisory board, which we expect to announce in the coming weeks – along with the new association’s branding, staff leadership and additional volunteer opportunities for you.

Of course, we need and desire current and recent member input as we take the next steps toward building the new organization. To that end, we are working with Readex Research to conduct an online survey designed to probe on membership benefits, service gaps and needs. The insights gained from your survey participation will help ensure that SIIA continues to serve as a valuable resource to you and others in the media, content and publishing industry.

Kindly be on the lookout for a survey link from Readex this Thursday, August 13. The short survey can be completed in about 10-12 minutes, and your participation is greatly appreciated.

This letter is the first of regular updates you will receive throughout August discussing the changes and our new path forward. On August 31, we will hold a live webinar providing an update, further describing the rationale and strategy, and taking your questions. FAQs, which may answer other questions, are now available on the SIIA website.

As our members have long recognized, SIIA operates at a pivotal and difficult juncture for trade associations, exacerbated by the pandemic. We believe this consolidated approach sets a strong foundation to launch a new division, poised for the growth, serving both for-profit and non-profit entities. We hope you will share our excitement as the vision takes shape.

Please feel free to reach out to Jeff or SIIA staff with your questions, comments, or concerns. We greatly welcome and value your input as we move forward. And please let us know if you wish to opt out of future communications on this matter.

Jeff Joseph
President
SIIA

Meg Hargreaves
Chair
SIIA

Kevin Novak
Chair
Connectiv

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Former MPA CEO Linda Thomas Brooks Joins Connectiv As Interim Managing Director

Linda Thomas Brooks, former CEO of the Magazine Publishers Association, has joined Connectiv as interim Managing Director. Brooks will oversee day-to-day activities, help develop the strategic plan, and assist the association in identifying potential acquisition targets for growth.

Brooks brings extensive experience pioneering developments at the intersection of media, technology and consumer behavior. Her career includes serving as Executive Vice President and Managing Director of GM MediaWorks—a stand-alone agency of GM—where she built and maintained the GM Media Lab and as President of Ingenuity Media for the Martin Agency.

Most recently, Brooks acted as co-founder and president of the data-driven integrated agency, GearDigital, a subsidiary of Wilson RMS. More, she developed media and marketing strategies for many well-known brands and companies, including General Motors, GEICO, The American Cancer Society, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente and Experian. Brooks also has received numerous industry honors, including Advertising Age Women to Watch Award, and Advertising Women of New York Impact Award for mentoring.

Brooks is taking a leading role in ensuring the success of two of Connectiv’s largest programs, the 66th annual Jesse H. Neal Awards, which will honor the best in B2B journalism in New York City on March 27 and the Connectiv Executive Summit, which takes place May 13-May 15 in New Orleans.

“I’m excited to join Connectiv and work with so many leading brands that are helping redefine the information industry,” says Brooks. “B2B has been at the forefront of media companies diversifying revenue streams toward events and recurring revenue models. I look forward to working with members to help them continue to move their businesses forward.”

Brooks can be reached at lbrooks@siia.net.