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. Copyrightlaws.com 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 Copyrightlaws.com 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 Copyrightlaws.com’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 copyrightlaws.com community. Actually, I only did a medium marketing effort on this one.” I asked her what other benefits Copyrightlaws.com 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 rlevine@siia.net. Thanks!

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SIPA December Member News

A Clever insideARM Take

 

On insideARMMike Bevel, their director of education, lists some of the things that he is thankful for—after some fun Thanksgiving banter. It’s a nice way to speak to your audience. His first thankful burst is: “Everyone who reads our newsletter. Everyone who takes time to trust us, and our insights and opinions. Even you. Even the person who once wrote to me to tell me I had half a brain. I’m a brain half-full kinda guy anyway.” Well done.

 


Fantini Research Celebrates 20 Years

 

What started as a single emailed newsletter with six subscribers in January 2000 has blossomed into a multi-title publishing and research enterprise with global customers. “We are proud of our accomplishments in building our suite of products and services, and we are even more excited about the future as the gaming industry continues to grow and evolve,” says Fantini Research founder and CEO Frank Fantini.

 

On their Meet the Team page, you can watch a wonderful video interview with Fantini and associate publisher and executive editor Ashley Diem (pictured above). “Historically, our main product has been a daily newsletter that covers the gaming industry comprehensively… It’s become a must-read for a lot of people,” he says proudly. “We have that slogan, ‘More important than your morning coffee,’ because for some people it is.”

 

In response to the pandemic, they created Fantini’s Gaming Show: A Virtual Trade Show and Newsroom. “There is now a way for gaming industry suppliers to exhibit their products to decision-makers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

 


Africa Confidential, Plain-English Media Offer Glimpses

 

We’re all playing with different paywall ideas this year. Africa Confidential features timely daily stories from many of the African countries. Usually there’s one paragraph and then it says this: “End of preview – This article contains approximately 1642 words.” They do choose about three free stories for visitors to read, highlighted with a red box. Good color choice.

 

Plain-English Media’s Community Association Management Insider—which they acquired from The Habitat Group—gives a headline and an opening paragraph before putting in big type: “The resource you requested is available only to current members.” Speaking about the acquisition, Matt Humphrey, president and founder of Plain-English Media, said at the time: “It helps us serve community associations in a new way that complements our flagship real estate publication, HOAleader.com.”

 


Ace Infoway, Money-Media Show They Are Good Places to Work

 

Ace Infoway has a section on their homepage titled Life @ Ace. “Hop on to see our activities because no amount of creative copy can justify our employee (ec)centricity!”

 

Of course, most of the ideas were pre-COVID though I’m sure most will continue at some point. They did a ThanksGiving day with people writing notes on hand cutouts of what they are thankful for. There’s also Yoga Day, Environment Day and Women’s Day.

 

And there’s still that moving and emotional, two-minute video of a desolate Broadway, an empty San Marco Square in Venice, a “Sorry We’re Closed” sign, and then a tribute to the “Heroes fighting the Coronavirus.” “For Ace Infoway, things are not the same as before. We really miss working together… We take this moment to thank our Ace Internal Heroes. Our dedication to our clients is the only motivation we thrive on.”

https://www.aceinfoway.com/gratitude

 

Money-Media uses a video to show why it’s a good place to work called, “Why should you work for Money-Media?” and it appears prominently on their homepage. We hear from employees about the career-growing opportunities, trust and camaraderie. Then we see pre-COVID laughter and food at staff gatherings, a softball title and comfortable meetings. “We are seeing video usage rise, especially as we test new formats,” said Money-Media managing director Dan Fink.

 


Utility Dive, Waste Dive & Smart Cities Dive Join Forces to Cover the Cost of Climate Change

 

“It seems like another lifetime, but it was just shy of a year ago when Industry Dive’s energy and environment teams gathered in our main conference room to start brainstorming and planning major projects we wanted to dive into in 2020.”

 

So starts a story on the Industry Dive site announcing how three of their verticals will partner to cover one of the biggest stories of the day—climate change. Waste Dive launched a tool to monitor the climate targets of major companies in the waste and recycling industry. Utility Dive unveiled an interactive tool that will allow readers to quickly learn critical information about the physical risks climate change poses to utilities.

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‘We Are Thinking Differently’; Crisis Mode May Mean Innovation Mode

Our condo association told us that we have to get our dryer vents cleaned out this year. A neighbor put up a sign recommending we call this company for a group rate. So I called. They told me that the date they’ve set to come is Saturday, Oct. 24 because people can be home. I said, ‘Maybe that was true in olden times (like 2019), but I know I’m tied to my laptop and condo Monday through Friday and try to get away a bit on Saturdays, so that wouldn’t work. How about another day?’”
“Well, we barely have anyone signed up that day so I don’t think so—we need to fill that day first.” Argghh.
The pandemic has brought on circumstances that require we change many of the ways and habits we have become accustomed to or to innovate and start a new habit. Here are positive examples that I’ve seen.
Double down on content. When the pandemic hit, Morning Brew launched a guide telling readers how best to work from home. It quickly became a pop-up, three-days-a-week newsletter, The Essentials, with tips on how to be active, healthy and happy during quarantine.” More than 75,000 subscribers in the first three days later, and it’s now sponsored by a cold-brew coffee company. “Another example of our mission and how we’re being a resource to readers…,” said Alex Lieberman, CEO and co-founder. “We are thinking differently about the media landscape.”
Create new reports. InsideARM, which addresses the debt industry, is promoting a free whitepaper titled Succeeding in Collections Today Requires More Agility. “Collection Operations of all sizes need to be more agile in order to handle the growing number and frequency of changes they will have to make in the NEW NORMAL.” I can hear the clicks now.
Build crisis hubs. I’m sure I’m not alone in looking for the coronavirus news hub on any site I visit. Spidell Publishing has an excellent one, replete with tax information and Spidell webinars that address that information. Almost every publisher I’ve interviewed has said their coronavirus hub has brought increased 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.
Run virtual demos. According to a Brand United report, B2B publisher HousingWire has been hosting virtual software demo days to educate its audience of mortgage lenders and real estate professionals about technology solutions that enable business continuity during the pandemic. “We looked at the environment, we looked at what our clients were looking for, we looked at the needs of our audience, and were able to bring together a product that we’re going to repeat again and again and again that solves a lot for those needs on both sides of the equation,” said HousingWire CEO Clayton Collins.
Don’t just virtualize but redefine your events. With in-person events, we mostly traveled to a place, so the dates of the event were finite. For virtual events, there really are no time limitations. For their Virtual Divorce Conference, BVR added bonus sessions both before and after the main event. So there was a 50-minute conference preview on Aug. 27, then the actual conference Sept. 9-11, and then three 100-minute, follow-up programs Sept. 17, 24 and 30. “We feel that people are getting a lot more value this year,” said Jared Waters, training director for BVR.
Add more webinars but make them shorter. The Association of Proposal Management Professionals initiated a Power ½ Hour Webinar Series. They are free for members and $75 for non-members. For a time, they also increased their standard one webinar a month to as many as four—some of those are sponsored—knowing that members needed more information to navigate the crisis.
Mail swag boxes to members/subscribers. Hearst Group Autos launched R&T Crew (Road & Track) Magazine in January with a subscription box geared to kids. The first box included a beanie with a designable patch, trading cards featuring different cars, socks with auto graphics and a car kids can put together and paint. Subscribers receive six boxes for $225/year. Of course, adults like cool stuff, too, especially now. If you can get a sponsor, mail out some of the swag that people would normally get at your events. Michelle Panzer of Hearst Autos said, “The goal is to find ‘white space’ in the market where you can fill a need that no one else has already identified.”
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August SIPA Member News

SIPA to Merge With Major B2B Publishing Associations

Yesterday we made an important announcement about an exciting merger between SIPA and our two sister media divisions under the SIIA umbrella—Connectiv and Association Media & Publishing. Read the announcement here.

SIPA members will soon receive an invitation to participate in a Readex Research survey. Your feedback will directly inform new programming, messaging and a refined value proposition for the new consolidated organization, so we greatly encourage your participation. Questions? Visit the FAQ page or contact Amanda McMaster at amcmaster@siia.net.


Members on the Frontlines

I’ve done recent profiles on a number of members and the great work they are doing in this unique period. If you missed any, please check out MedLearn Media’s amazing crisis content, Coleman’s PPP webcasts, EB Medicine’s incredible frontline reporting, Cabot Wealth’s new launches and advice, and BVR’s upcoming event pivot.
Please contact me (rlevine@siia.netif you have success stories or interesting vignettes to share from the past few months! Would be more than happy to write about it here.

American Chemical Society Partners With PBS and YouTube for New Video Series
The American Chemical Society (ACS) has launched “Untold,” a new video series in partnership with PBS Digital Studios and YouTube Learning. The limited-run series features stories about science and how chemistry, physics, astronomy and geology can provide insight into the world around us.
Over the course of 10 episodes, “Untold” tells stories through a scientific lens, from the tale of a lonely whale to the Challenger space shuttle disaster and more. The series is hosted by Alex Dainis, Ph.D., a geneticist and science communicator. Throughout each episode, Dainis explains the history and illustrates the science behind the unique topics.
“Untold” is available to watch now on the ACS Reactions YouTube channel. ACS and PBS Digital Studios also produce the long-running video series “Reactions”, a show that uncovers the chemistry of everyday life and beyond.

What Does a Diversified Portfolio Look Like? 

The Toronto-based Successful Investor puts out great daily advice for readers. This came from an article this week:
“What does a diversified portfolio look like? We believe a well-diversified portfolio has a few specific qualities, including holdings spread out across most if not all of the five main economic sectors, geographic diversification, both conservative and more-aggressive holdings, and both market leaders and laggards.
“You will improve your chances of making money over long periods, no matter what happens in the market, if you diversify your holdings as we recommend.”

Here’s a Really Good Idea to Do for Your Niche: insideARM Announces the 2020 Best Places to Work in Collections.
I know Industry Dive has been named one of these by The Washington Post quite often and other members have as well. But it’s also a good idea to conduct the survey for your own niche as insideARM did here last week:
“insideARM is proud to announce the 2020 Best Places to Work in Collections winners. This survey and award program is designed to celebrate excellence among call center work environments in customer care, collections, and outsourcing. 2020 marks the 13th year that insideARM has recognized the industry’s best places to work, primarily as rated by employees.
“And this year, the process occurred during a pandemic that has upended and reorganized a lot of companies.”