DTNfarmer

Neal Award Finalists Offer Replicable and Powerful Examples for Other Publishers

With the Neal Awards celebration set for noon, Wednesday, June 9, I looked through the finalists to see what interesting ideas—it is Ideas Wednesday here—I could find. Well, this might just have to become a series with all of the innovative and exciting work that we’re honoring. It will definitely be worth your valuable while to attend the presentation.

Besides seeing the incredible work that your fellow AM&P Network members are doing, there will be myriad ways to connect at the Neal Awards such as: interactive networking – mini breakouts during intermissions; video booth fun with sponsor Gather Voices – create a video to share your win on social media! #NealAward and @siia; MIRO – contribute to a community-driven art piece by doodling on the #NealAward MIRO board; or just to cheer on your favorite finalists and winners.

Register here. Attendance is free. See all the finalists here. Here are some replicable and effective ideas from a few of the finalists:

Run video interstitials. A finalist for Best Single Article, Teachers Are Getting Schooled on Retirement from Informa’s WealthManagement.com begins with a powerful tale of a Long Island teacher given bad investing advice from a life insurance rep when she was just starting out. “He said he had an easy way for her to save for her retirement beyond her pension.” After the first four graphs, there’s a short video promo for a succession planning discussion they held on May 11 between contributing editor Maureen Wilke and Advisor Group (the sponsor) SVP Todd Fulks. There are ads later in the story, but that short video is a smart way to promote more good content.

Provide tools/content for our audience – part 1. Industry Dive’s Restaurant Dive is a finalist for Best Series for its series of six articles on successive Mondays with the first story titled, Mapping the Rise of Ghost Kitchens. “Dark. Ghost. Host. These are just a few of the names for the budding restaurant segment rising from the economic upheaval of the novel coronavirus pandemic,” it begins. Not only do they go in-depth, but they also created a “ghost kitchen calculator to help operators assess the financial profile and determine profitability of a ghost kitchen before developing their own concept.” We are here to meet audience needs, and this sounds like a big one. Think about what value-add you can give to an article you’re doing.

Provide tools/content for our audience – part 2. For Best Profile, American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News is a finalist for a wonderful profile titled A Day With Jennifer Doudna: Trying to Keep Up With One of the World’s Most Sought-After Scientists. It chronicles the day she spoke at the University of California, Berkeley campus. “It’s clear that being considered the Beyoncé of science has reshaped Doudna’s life. But has it reshaped how she views herself?” The article leads to a sidebar story titled Jennifer Doudna’s Tips for New Entrepreneurs. “We asked her to share her best advice for budding academic entrepreneurs,” writes Lisa M. Jarvis. One story presents the person, and the second story presents how to help their audience succeed.

Adding diversity – part 1. Haymarket Media’s PRWeek did a great job of enlightenment and outreach during the pandemic with a video series called Lockdown Life—also a Neal finalist for Best Series. You can see from the small photos that accompany each week’s video that there is diversity of all kinds: age, gender, ethnicity, activity—headlines range from TikTok Influencers Overnight? to PR Pros Flocking to Buy Chickens to 3 PR Pros Recall Their Bouts With COVID-19. Showcasing a variety of your members or audience just makes content more interesting. Oh, here’s the best episode: “Your Job Seems Too Boring” – Kids and Partners Observe PR Pros in Quarantine.

Adding diversity – part 2. What an engaging lead paragraph in DTN’s Progressive Farmer from Chris Clayton, ag policy editor, for his Neal-finalist profile titled Grappling With a New Farm – Young, Black, First-Generation American Determined to Succeed as a Farm Owner (pictured above). “Like a lot of children growing up in a small Nebraska town, Zemua Baptista remembers playing with tractors in the living room as a boy—’carpet farming,’ as he describes it.” And later in the story a quote from Baptista: “I still see it when I tell people I’m a farmer and they kind of look at me. For me, to give a face to a minority farmer is a good thing.”

Offer daily engagement. For Best Podcast, Crain Communications is a finalist for its Automotive News Daily Drive. This must be quite an undertaking to produce every day, though topics could be endless. (At least they took Memorial Day off.) They’re rewarded by a strong audience and sponsorships—on the podcast itself (the brief intro of the sponsor sounds warm and welcomed) and with ads on the site. “Daily Drive is our daily podcast series. We speak with industry experts, insiders and Automotive News reporters about events and trends impacting and reshaping the automotive industry.” These are also good avenues to amplify the voices of your editorial team.

Build creativity into virtual events. A finalist for Best New Product is FreightWaves Virtual Events. In a promo video on their site, CEO Craig Fuller says that “the idea of the FreightWaves Live Experience is to bring you into the action, make you a part of the experience—letting you see how technology is going to shape the future of our industry.” They must be successful because virtual events are planned through this year and even into 2022.

Congratulations to all of the Neal Award finalists; it’s well-deserved! Please register and attend the Neals celebration next Wednesday at noon to see the winners and some of the faces behind this amazing work.

nealawards

Have You Entered the Neal Awards? It Can Be Very Rewarding. And There’s Still Time.

Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of working on both the SIPAwards and the Neal Awards. Both have been essential in honoring and promoting the amazing work done by B2B (and some B2C) publishers. This year—with SIPA being integrated into our new Associations, Media and Publishing Network—the SIPAwards have been absorbed by the Neal Awards, now in their 67th year.  The regular deadline is this Sunday, Feb. 21

NEAL AWARDS FAQ:

Are the Neal Awards for me?
Absolutely. Most of the categories that you’ve become familiar with in the SIPAwards—Best Blog/Commentary, Best Profile, Best Podcast, Best Series, Best Use of Video, Best Instructional Content, and Best Editorial Use of Data, to name just a few—are there in the Neal Awards. Check out all of the 2021 Neal Awards categories.

Where do I enter and when did the work I submit have to be published?
Here is the link to the nomination page. It’s the same platform as the SIPAwards were. The 2021 Neal Awards will honor work published from Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2020. Up to two entries can be submitted in each category. In the Best Series category, 50% of the series had to be published during those dates for the entirety of the series to be entered.

Will smaller publishers have a chance to win? And do I have to be a member?
Smaller publishers will have a great chance to win. Most categories have three revenue classes, so you will be competing against those in similar places. With all the changes we have been going through, we decided that no, you do not have to be a member this year. That may change in the future.

Was SIPA’s voice heard in their integration into the Neal Awards?
Yes. There is a new Neals category, Best New Product, recognizing innovation in new product development, including pivots to virtual events. In addition, there are two more new categories that I know SIPA members have the work to nominate for because I’ve seen it close up: Best COVID-19 Coverage and Best COVID-19 Package.

Is there an upcoming deadline?
Yes. Sunday is what we call the Regular Deadline for submitting. So you will save $50 per entry by getting nominations in by end-of-day Sunday. Then Feb. 22- March 7 is the Extended Nomination Period where entries are still permitted but it’s a bit more expensive.

Can I sign up to judge?
Please do! We need judges! Award entries will be assessed by your peers in three rounds of judging. Judging will be all virtual, of course, and will not require a huge time commitment. As in the past, it is a great way to see the best work of your industry, learn new ideas and observe how others are approaching work and revenue strategies during the pandemic. All the details about judging—including a detailed FAQ—can be read here. Judging will begin on March 7.

Be assured that your voice is still clearly heard and will resonate loudly throughout the industry with your entries in the Neal Awards. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. We are excited to expand these awards and reward and amplify even more great work by people in this industry.

The Neal Awards Provide a Most Prestigious New Home for SIPA Members

The work that I’ve seen win SIPAwards the last few years could win awards in any journalism competition. So I strongly encourage you to enter the Neal Awards. Most of the categories that you’ve become familiar with—Best Blog/Commentary, Best Profile, Best Podcast, Best Series, Best Use of Video, Best Instructional Content—are there in the Neals.

Neal Award winners provide their audience with value. “Basically, I’m using data to help tell a good story—whatever it may be…,” Todd Dills, a senior editor at Randall-Reilly and a multiple Neal Award winner once told me. “I started looking around at the different sources of data that concerns issues readers have. It’s the readers who drive this. And I’ve always been interested in numbers.”

He spoke about the difference data was making in their journalism—and equally important in their readership (truckers). “We started doing a series of state law enforcement profiles; at the end of the day information like this gives the readers a better sense, a better reality,” Dills said.

The key, he added, is serving readers. “The big takeaway is that there’s data gathered on everything our readers do,” noting that the way you use it shows your “valuable priorities as a journalist. I have been able to essentially prove our readers right on some things and wrong on others.”

That is just one example of the importance and relevance of the awards we give out. Not only do they recognize people like Todd doing great work in our industry, but they amplify the trends—sometimes even before they become trends! Of course, data journalism is now one of the biggest difference makers in the content world of B2B publishing and media companies.

Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of working on both the SIPAwards and the Neal Awards. Both have been essential in honoring and promoting the amazing work done by B2B (and some B2C) publishers. This year—in order to devote the amount of resources that the entries and awards deserve—the SIPAwards have been integrated into the Neal Awards.

For SIPA members, it adds an even more prestigious layer. Now in its 67th year, the Neal Awards have a celebrated history and are known as the most respected awards in the world of specialized journalism. Named after Jesse H. Neal, the first managing director of American Business Media, the Neal Awards were established in 1955 to recognize and reward editorial excellence in business media.

You will be up against the best of the B2B world, but in categories separated by company size. I can say firsthand that the work I’ve seen win SIPAwards the last few years could win awards in any journalism competition. So I strongly encourage you to enter. Most of the categories that you’ve become familiar with in the SIPAwards—Best Blog/Commentary, Best Profile, Best Podcast, Best Series, Best Use of Video, Best Instructional Content, and Best Editorial Use of Data, to name just a few—are there in the Neal Awards. Check out all of the 2021 Neal Awards categories.

And as an homage to the SIPAwards, there is a new Neals category: Best New Product, recognizing innovation in new product development, including events and pivots to virtual events. In addition, there are two more new categories that I know SIPA members have the work to nominate for: Best COVID-19 Coverage and Best COVID-19 Package.

Early nominations—which represent the most cost-effective way to enter the Neals—will be accepted through Jan. 31. Regular nominations then go from Feb. 1-21. And the extended nomination period is Feb. 22 – March 7.

We Also Need Judges

Award entries will then be assessed by your peers in three rounds of judging. This is also where we can use your help. Judging will be all virtual, of course, and will not require a huge time commitment. As in the past, it is a great way to see the best work of your industry, learn new ideas and observe how others are approaching work and revenue strategies during the pandemic. All the details about judging—including a detailed FAQ—can be read here.

Be assured that your voice is still clearly heard and will resonate loudly throughout the industry with your entries in the Neal Awards. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. We are excited to expand these awards and reward and amplify even more great work by people in this industry.