These Ideas Spotlight Social, Innovation, Talent and Tech – and Can Be Adapted  

It’s Ideas Wednesday. The American Chemical Society gives a nice twist to the 35-under-35 genre. gets big audiences with their Zoom On Ins. We like quizzes, and PMMI Media Group does it well and with purpose. And insideARM puts their Innovation Council to good use with a Think Differently series.

Talented Twelve. Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) has been published by the American Chemical Society since 1923. Subscribers get a magazine, RSS feeds, archives access, a mobile app, tailored newsletters, a podcast—Stereo Chemistry—and a voice product that “delivers daily chemistry news highlights to your Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker.”

What caught my attention this week is their Talented Twelve program. “Nominate a Rising Young Chemist to Be One of C&EN’s Talented 12 for 2021. Help us identify early career scientists doing research that will have a global impact.” Knowing this organization you can be sure that this will be a very diverse dozen. The program is presented by Thermo Fisher Scientific, so that’s a nice sponsorship.

Looking back at their 2019 class, C&EN also does a fun, informational page on the group, asking their favorite dish to cook (best answer – Bangladeshi kacchi biryani), number of patents filed (27), languages spoken (9) and surprising skills (wrestling – from Markita – and violin). Each also gets their own profile.

Reach out and learn copyright. Or in the case of last week’s Zoom On In, the relationship between copyright and contracts. Lesley Ellen Harris of has been hosting these every few weeks for a couple years now—yes even before Zoom absconded with our lives.

Zoom On Ins are free, 20-minute virtual copyright sessions and part of’s initiatives to make people more aware of copyright law. Harris told me this morning that 200 registered for last week’s session, and 150 attended. That’s a very good percentage, and a smart way to build interest for her paid online courses

“I really nurture [my audience],” she said. “I email them, ‘Don’t forget to come!’ I keep in touch with them—I just want to keep building the community. Actually, I only did a medium marketing effort on this one.” I asked her what other benefits gets from these.

“Several things. They’re great for my students. In the bigger picture, they’re great for our alumni—they can keep them up to date. They’re great for the public to get information. For us, we can build our list and nurture our current list. It’s good, practical information.”

The sessions are at 1 pm Eastern, and Harris gets attendees from all over the world. “Global has always been important,” she said. “Think about not just what you’re doing now but how people’s habits have changed moving forward.”

Ask Me Another. Quiz: Are You a Social Media Smarty? asks PMMI Media Group. Not only are quizzes proven winners for engagement, but most of us could use help when it comes to social media. So this quiz is particularly well-positioned.

“With email challenged by competition for the inbox, marketers are having to up their game on social,” they write. “Do you have what it takes to succeed? Test your social media smarts with this brief quiz.” There are five questions, and I did not do too well. So I signed up for their monthly Marketing Insights email newsletter “for latest research and tips!”

Another question asks: Which will get your brand in front of the largest group of active prospects? The final question asks us to choose an image that Company X is planning to run in a Facebook ad. I feel better when I see that 82% got it wrong. I am not alone. At the bottom, you see this button: “Learn how PMMI Media Group can help you reach the right audience with your next campaign.” Oh, you can also take the quiz again. Is that cheating?

Other media company quizzes I like: the Financial TimesEducation Week and Kiplinger. And Lessiter Media has a good article titled 3 Ways to Use Quizzes in Your Marketing Strategy.

Good thinking. Innovation is often talked about but not made intentional enough. InsideARM dispels that notion with their ongoing Think Differently series. “Written by or recorded with members of the iA Innovation Council, the series of articles and videos showcases thought leadership in analytics, communications, payments, and compliance technology for the accounts receivable management industry.”

Ray Peloso, CEO of a technology company called Katabat, wrote the first 2021 article. “Great innovation is usually a series of incremental lessons honed through relentless discipline in a rapid cycle environment where “speed to insight” or “speed to fail” is the most valuable objective,” he writes. “Disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action; Identifying and discarding bad ideas on the road to winners is crucial. Shortening the timeline from initial idea to winner is a massively powerful concept that separates great innovators from the rest of the pack.”

A program like this energizes their Innovation Council so it’s a real thing, provides paths to innovation, positions InsideARM as a thought leader and builds engagement.

If you have any suggestions for future Ideas Wednesdays, please send to Thanks!


SIPA Member News

Welcome New Members

We are excited to welcome the following new member to the SIPA community:

Cibellis Solutions is an all-service marcom, content marketing consultancy deeply nested in subject-matter expert content development and audience engagement with that deep expertise.

Fantini Research Launches New Gaming Indices
Recognizing the dramatic changes in the structure of the gaming industry, Fantini Research has launched a new set of stock indices to measure industry performance. “These indices are an important tool for investors to track and measure gaming stocks in comparison to the overall market and the dynamics within the gaming industry itself,” Fantini Research CEO Frank Fantini said.
The indices designed by Fantini’s Gaming Report editor Blake Weishaar have been backdated to January 2, 2018. In that relatively brief time, the indices show investor enthusiasm over sports betting, which stands at 175.97 points from a base of 100.
The lowest performing of the indices, North American, stands at 100.72 showing that gaming stocks have held up even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated leisure and hospitality stocks this year. Offers Tips for Developing a Copyright Policy offers tips for developing a copyright policy in a very useful blog post this month.
“Copyright policies exist in a variety of forms, styles and lengths. Writing one may seem like a daunting task. Where do you begin? First, read copyright policies from other organizations.
“Next, prepare an outline of the important copyright and licensing issues to include in your policy. What are they? Only you can answer that question. What issues arise in your organization? Common issues include:
  • Posting content online;
  • Using articles from licensed databases;
  • Reproducing articles for internal or external seminars”
See the full article here.

Industry Dive Design Team Named ‘Design Team of the Year’ by Folio
Industry Dive’s design team was named 2020’s “Design Team of the Year” by Folio. The team also won four other Ozzie and Special Recognition awards, including “Overall Design Excellence.”
Started over 25 years ago, Folio’s Eddie and Ozzie award competition seeks to “recognize excellence in engaging content and gorgeous design across all sectors of the publishing industry.” The 2020 competition saw thousands of entries across more than 60 categories. This was the first year Industry Dive’s design team submitted entries.

Diversified Communications Introduces Seafood Expo Asia Reconnect
Seafood Expo Asia, produced by Diversified Communications, announced the launch of Seafood Expo Asia Reconnect, a digital solution to connect seafood buyers throughout Asia with suppliers from around the world. Seafood Expo Asia Reconnect will be hosted online Nov. 17-19, 2020.
“In these unprecedented times, we understand that the need for the industry to stay connected and conduct business is more important than ever,” said Liz Plizga, group VP, Diversified Communications. “Until we meet again, face to face, we are pleased to bring a new business opportunity for seafood suppliers from around the world to reconnect with seafood buyers located in Asia, without leaving their office.”

Eidelman Blogs for Thrive Global

Stephanie Eidelman, CEO of insideARM, has recently written two excellent blogs for Thrive Global. The latest one is titled This New Pandemic Habit Has Expanded My Universe, about her new walking habit.
“Because I am not also checking email or focusing on the latest task at hand, my walks—even while I’m listening or talking—help me to work through big questions and develop new perspectives. It’s nearly impossible to find time for this kind of thinking during other parts of the day, but during my walks, things become clear to me at a much higher level.”


RonnAre you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
If not, you’re missing out on daily strategies, tips, profiles and case studies that can build your audience and increase revenue. To sign up, please contact Nevena Jovanovic.Ronn 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 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…


Try Phone, Slack and Single Focus; Overcoming Your Zoom and Gloom

“I wanted to be the band on the Titanic,” comedian Paula Poundstone said in an article in The Washington Post this weekend about Zoom fatigue. She was posting almost daily bits and “Quarantine Corner” updates through April on Instagram but stopped by late May. “But the Titanic sank faster. It just occurred to me now that that’s what was wrong with my plan.”
Lesley Harris of was kind enough to email me last week suggesting this trending topic. Funny, because she was using Zoom before most of the rest of us—holding her SIPAward-winning 20-minute Zoom on Ins over lunchtime in 2019 and early 2020. As many as 450 people were registering for her sessions. holds many courses and certificate programs, so Zoom is a staple, but Harris is trying to mix it up.
“One thing I did in my last class this spring was a Slack Live Chat…similar to a Twitter chat but private,” Harris wrote to me. “My students really liked it and what’s great is that there’s a record of it and people can continue to discuss the issues… It worked for that group of students. We’ll experiment with it further this fall.”
In an article How to Combat Zoom Fatigue at the end of April—wow, that was already a thing then!—Harvard Business Review had these three suggestions:
Try not to multitask. This is much easier said than done—I’d say nine out of 10 people have told me they are working harder since the pandemic started—but it will help. “Researchers at Stanford found that people who multitask can’t remember things as well as their more singularly focused peers.” It’s funny, if we look away on Zoom it looks like we’re not paying attention. But sometimes it’s easier to concentrate that way. Whereas when we look straight at the camera we can do other work. So it’s inherently evil in that respect.
Reduce onscreen stimuli. “Research shows that when you’re on video, you tend to spend the most time gazing at your own face.” I knew I should have shaved this morning. They say we even process the backgrounds people have—it’s true. How many Zoom calls have started with someone commenting on a background or two? I love radio and find that I listen best in the car because of the limited distractions. Some recommend not using video at all occasionally on Zoom, though that can be construed as being technology deficient..
Avoid the default to Zoom. The article suggests switching to Slack—as Harris did—or even a phone call. Remember those? The HBR author makes a good point: “In situations where you’re communicating with people outside of your organization (clients, vendors, networking, etc.)—conversations for which you used to rely on phone calls—you may feel obligated to send out a Zoom link instead. But a video call is fairly intimate and can even feel invasive in some situations.” It really depends on the situation. When I interviewed the keynotes for SIPA 2020, seeing them helped me build rapport. But other times, it does feel awkward.
A couple other ideas:
Gamify or poll. I’ve heard positive feedback about doing a quiz or trivia game, or taking a poll to break up a webinar or keynote talk. In a story on Health.comClaire Gillespie writes that “she still has weekly video chats with [her] family, but we’ve turned them into quizzes—and it’s made the experience more enjoyable and less tiring. We take turns to talk, there are no awkward silences, and when the quiz is over, we say our goodbyes.”
Adjust how your Zoom call looks. Instead of trying to focus on everyone in a Zoom meeting at once, shift from gallery view to speaker view so you only have to focus on one person, Fast Company’s Elizabeth Grace Saunders suggests. Cover up the portion of the screen showing your face with a Post-It note so you’re not distracted by yourself. And, if you’re uncomfortable with how you look on video calls, take some time to adjust your camera settings or the lighting in your house, said Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab.
Hmmm, fancy lighting or post-it notes. I must have those little yellow things here somewhere.

Virtual Events May Be a Great Answer in These Down-Travel Times

Half the respondents who have attended a virtual event said they would do so again. But only a third of those who have not attended a virtual event indicated an interest in attending one. So there’s an education component here. But a virtual event remains an attractive option because it helps offset the biggest stressors of attending events—being away and logistics—especially in these troubled times of people traveling less.
Education Week’s Online Summits “are an ideal way for busy educators to access timely information about a range of critical issues in K-12 education easily by using their phones or desktops and integrating their learning directly into their usual workflow,” wrote Matthew Cibellis, director of programming, live & virtual events, for Education Week, in his 2019 SIPAward-winning entry.
“This cross-departmental partnership led by the editorial team’s deep, rich content in a multitude of K-12 areas provides learners meaningful continuing education from experts in the field and practitioners in schools.”
The video-friendly Online Summits take place monthly—in fact, the one in January, titled Getting Reading Right, was probably their most successful. Their fully registered audience was 2,540 with 517 live during the event.
“The livestream ran really smoothly; we saw really awesome retention of viewers,” Cibellis wrote me in an email. “We had around 93 live viewers and that number didn’t fall at all throughout the full half-hour livestream; that’s a first.” A couple days after the event, they had 305 views of the livestream. “Our average on-video time is 11 minutes and 7 seconds, and 59% of attendees watched our livestream. We have 18% watching for 30 minutes, which is frankly, remarkable for any video let alone our online summits.” holds free Zoom On Ins—20-minute live video sessions on a popular copyright topic that Lesley Ellen Harris conducts virtually. Testing the market, they put on six of these meetings from Jan. 10-28 and added many new names to their mailing list and eventually some did sign up for paying courses. Copyrightlaws probably can’t continue at that pace—6 in 18 days—but with as many as 250 people signing up for a Zoom On In (on open access and copyright in January), they have found a good formula to build their audience.
“It’s another way for us to get amplified,” said Harris. “Someone on the call will tell one or two colleagues to sign up for the next one.” Harris uses Zoom, so people can see everyone else in the “classroom.” People can also join by audio—if they don’t want to see everyone or be seen. Read more.
Here are three tips for holding virtual events from the Bizzabo blog:
1. Use Slack. One of the few potential drawbacks of virtual events is the lack of community. But Wistia wanted to make sure that their aptly named CouchCon was full of networking opportunities. They accomplished this by creating dedicated Slack channels that event attendees could join, meet their peers, and share resources.
2. Repurpose. Virtual events offer the opportunity to easily repurpose content. Each session can be recorded and streamed to virtual attendees. After the event is over, these sessions can then be used as marketing materials like lead magnets. Gainsight does this with its PulseCheck event. To help build the company’s email list, they offer the recorded sessions for free to new subscribers. After your virtual event has concluded, use the recording as marketing collateral to continue building your business.
Get sponsorships. Just like many live, in-person events, Drip, popular email marketing software, found sponsors for their virtual get-together. Zapier, Twilio, Big Commerce, and more were a part of the festivities. Just because you’re hosting a virtual event doesn’t mean you can’t get sponsors. Not only will sponsorship help financially, but it will also lend your gathering more credibility.
SIIA-amp-network-feature-photo’s Successful Lead Generation ‘Show’

Last year, Lesley Ellen Harris of SIPA member told me about a very successful 20-minute virtual lunchtime session they do called Zoom On In. With as many as 140 people signing up, has found a relatively stress-free but content-strong formula to engage more audience.


“I know these topics inside out,” Harris said at the time. “So I don’t have to do any research. It’s around lunchtime and really short but long enough to say some useful things. I kind of challenge myself by saying that I have five things to tell you today—and then I have to get through all five things. It’s fun. Sometimes [at the end], I’m like, ‘Whoosh I made it!’ And I can see people smiling.” (On Zoom, Harris can see some attendees, and they can see her.)

I just checked, and happily the beat goes on for the Zoom On Ins, but now with guests! Two more sessions are scheduled—on Jan. 23 and Feb. 13—both with prominent speakers. “Yes, this is kind of a Phase 2,” Harris just told me on the phone. “I’ll come on to briefly introduce the speakers but then they’ll take over. The 20 minutes go fast.”

Harris uses the Zoom On Ins to build audience and promote their 2020 online copyright courses. She will talk about that and more successes on Thursday at 2 pm in a SIPA Webinar titled How to Develop Free Webinars (and Other Virtual Events) that Generate Qualified Leads—and Convert Them to Paying Customers. Also presenting will be Greg Hart, director of marketing, PSMJ Resources, Inc., and president of SIPA, so you should join in.

The webinar is free for SIPA members. Register here.

The Zoom On Ins have “helped us reinforce the topics that interest our small niche market, and many signed up for our free weekly copyright newsletter,” Harris said. “It’s another way for us to get amplified, reach beyond our own circle. Someone on the call will tell one or two staff members to sign up for the next one. To pick topics, we go to our Google Analytics and look at the top blog entries—see what’s most popular. Maybe it’s ‘A Simple Guide to Copyright for Librarians.’ We target who we know our market is. They might ask, ‘Are we doing it again?’ And we’ll say look at our courses.”

It’s great to see that Harris has expanded both with guests and geography. The Feb. 23 Zoom On In will feature two UK educators who are passionate about education and gamification. For that reason, the Zoom On In will start at 10 am. For the Jan. 23 session, listeners can get 30% off an important book in the field.

Mostly, Harris does not record her Zoom On Ins, though Thursday’s webinar, like all SIPA webinars, are recorded and can be accessed by members at any time. (The archives are here.) “It’s more about the way it’s shared, the atmosphere, not the information,” Harris said last year. “There’s a certain energy to do it live. And people love Zoom.” She also gets a sense that people are a little tired of watching PowerPoints.

The one exception where she did record a Zoom On In occurred when a larger library entity promoted it, and 450 people registered. Zoom can usually only accept 100 for a session, but told Harris that if she did a couple things they could open it to everyone. Unfortunately, Zoom left off one key task, and many people couldn’t join in. This frustrated Harris though she did take solace that email addresses were recorded..

“Our list is everything,” Harris said. “So at least I did get the names and could reach out to those people and offer them articles and tell them about the courses. I find that, for me, people don’t go to the recordings too much, but at least I did have it” if anyone asked for it.’s signature copyright certificate programs cost $1500 so Harris and her staff know that people probably won’t sign up “just because they attended a 20-minute session,” she said. “But they’ll follow us anyhow. It reminds and encourages them to stay with us. I find that our best customers are the ones who have already taken a course or done something with us.” There’s also a follow-up email after each session urging people to join the weekly list or look at the courses.

If you haven’t signed up yet for Thursday’s webinar, now is the time! Register here.