October SIPA Member News

Industry Dive Launches Cybersecurity Dive

On Monday, Industry Dive officially launched Cybersecurity Dive. The latest newsletter and website will bring news and analysis to chief information security officers and other executives tasked with keeping brands’—and customers’—data safe.


Cybersecurity Dive marks the 23rd site in Industry Dive’s portfolio of online publications and industry-focused newsletters. The new Dive will look at industry regulation, along with legal, technological, economic, social, labor, and geopolitical risks.


“While the TV trope of hackers wearing hoodies in dark basements may be fun to watch, businesses know security breaches are no laughing matter. As the world has become increasingly digital, cybersecurity has quickly evolved into a top priority for enterprises from startups to the Fortune 500,” said Industry Dive editor-in-chief Davide Savenije. “Bringing Industry Dive’s award-winning journalism and exclusive insights to cybersecurity will help executives in the space stay ahead of the curve.”


Cabot Wealth Network Acquires The Turnaround Letter

Cabot Wealth Network, celebrating 50 years of business, has acquired contrarian investment newsletter, The Turnaround Letter, from New Generation Research, Inc. of Boston. Relaunched as Cabot Turnaround Letter, the new financial advisory expands Cabot Wealth’s suite of advisories to 16 publications and a financial retirement club.


Founded in 1986 by publisher George Putnam, the publication became one the most established and longest-running Wall Street investment publications of its time. Editorial focuses on providing insight into potential turnaround situations and recommends stock purchases that have potential for large and imminent or long-term increases.


Longtime Turnaround Letter Editor Bruce Kaser will join Cabot Wealth Network as the value stocks expert and chief analyst of Cabot Turnaround Letter and Cabot Undervalued Stocks Advisor.


Ragan Communications Announces Workplace Wellness Insider

Ragan Communications has announced the launch of a subscription service tailored to wellness, human resources and communications professionals. The Workplace Wellness Insider will provide insights and solutions needed to build corporate wellness initiatives that make an impact.


At the core of this important product launch is the belief that fostering the physical and mental well-being of employees is no longer just nice to have, but critical to an organization’s sustainability and business performance.


“While employee wellbeing has always been important, never before has it been central to organizational health,” said Diane Schwartz, CEO of Ragan. “The stressors—mental, physical, financial and social—caused by the pandemic, social injustices and ongoing isolation cannot be ignored, and those overseeing wellness programs need a trusted source for guidance. We are both thrilled and humbled to be able to provide that with the Workplace Wellness Insider.”


Relias Named 2020 Leader in Diversity

Relias, a trusted education and training partner to more than 11,000 healthcare clients and parent of SIPA member Relias Media, was recognized by the Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) as a winner of its 2020 Leaders in Diversity Award.


TBJ’s 2020 awardees consist of eight companies, including Relias, and 14 individuals who have demonstrated respect for inclusive treatment of others, advocacy for underrepresented groups, and multicultural marketing from a variety of industries including technology, healthcare, commercial real estate, finance, education, and life sciences.


“Relias values diversity and continually works to create an environment where employees of all abilities, ethnicities, sexual preferences, identities, race, age or creed feel they can bring their authentic selves,” said Tina Krebs, Relias chief people officer. “Relias is honored with the recognition from TBJ, and we congratulate all the awardees who have set the bar high and are committed to diversity and inclusion.”


Op Ed on The Company Dime: John Harvey on the Future of Business Travel Demand

SIPA member The Company Dime publishes some excellent content, especially in this hectic and changing time for business travel.


“A step-change has already taken place, which cannot be ignored. This is not about when governments say we can travel again, how clean and safe travel feels or what tests and vaccines emerge, but rather a realization that people were traveling more than they needed to.


“COVID is a spotlight that will put a new focus on qualifying the actual demand on every trip… Change will happen across the program. Individuals who may have been drivers of travel — by inviting, suggesting or requiring others to travel — will think differently. Many travelers themselves will question the value, importance and necessity of each trip.


“That everyone will be inclined to travel less in the future is not just a subjective or conceptual view. There will be four tangible forces applying downward pressure on qualifying and reducing demand going forward…”


Read more here.


Helpful Crisis Resources From SIPA Members

“If your small business has received approval for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), congratulations on obtaining aid to help get your business and your employees through the shutdown measures needed to stop the spread of COVID-19,” writes Bruce Brumberg of longtime SIPA member, in an article titled You Got Your Paycheck Protection Program Loan. Now What? Advice From Small-Business Lawyers.
“However, you need to use the loan carefully. First, you want to maximize the feature that makes the PPP loan forgivable. Second, you want to use the loan properly so that you stay out of legal trouble for any potential abuse of the program.”
Brumberg’s article, along with his previous post—How to Avoid Going to Prison for Your Payroll Protection Program Loan: Advice From Former Federal Prosecutors—both appear on the Forbes website. They are just a couple of the many great resources that SIPA members are providing during this pandemic—many of which can be of general help.
Ragan Communications posted an article today titled In the COVID-19 Era, Try These 12 Virtual Collaboration Tools. “Especially in volatile, uncertain times such as these, it’s crucial for businesses to maintain communication continuity and streamlined teamwork… The good news is that there are plenty of online tools that can make working together a breeze. Try these 12 tools to maximize your productivity.” The tools include G Suite, Nifty, Backlog and
Access Intelligence’s PR News site has a Q&A up today titled How to Communicate and Pitch During the Pandemic.
PRNEWS: What are some keys for an effective media relations strategy during this crisis?
LT Taylor, communications director at Burrow, the online furniture brand: “Tread lightly and reset your goals and expectations since so many outlets and reporters have shifted their priorities. It’s still important, maybe more so, to understand why you’re telling a story…and who might be interested in it. As always, spend time reading each content creator’s previous articles, see what they’re sharing on Twitter, and approach each pitch with empathy.”
Deb Hileman, CEO, Institute for Crisis Management: “In the midst of the overwhelming amount of difficult news coverage about the virus, some reporters are seeking pitches about feel-good stories that can uplift audiences. The caveat is that many of them will want virus-related, feel-good material. Stories about actions your organization is taking to help customers, employees or the community will add to its goodwill bank of trust and reputation.”
Business Management Daily has a host of articles that could be helpful to small businesses and the people who work there. Quiana Darden writes about Why You Need Standard Operating Procedures Now More Than Ever.
“When the workforce is turned upside down, not too much is standard about how you operate. Even so, having standard operating procedures, also known as SOPs, in place can help you maintain a sense of control and consistency in your business.
“You might be up against any number of situations now or potentially in the future—from staff on extended leave to hiring temp workers to manage tasks to possibly downsizing your staff. Since you don’t know what’s to come, now more than ever, you want to have SOPs in place as a tool to help your business operate more efficiently.”
The International Risk Management Institute has its own free COVID-19 Resources. One of the many articles is Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Income Losses—Are They Covered?
“The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 are wreaking havoc on all of us—individuals and businesses alike. Businesses that have purchased coverage for business income loss as part of their commercial property insurance may well be hoping that they will be able to recover under their policies for income loss due to the coronavirus.”
Here’s one last link that could be helpful—even if it isn’t from a SIPA member: 3 Meditation and Mindfulness Apps for Stressed-Out Event Professionals.

Niche Publishers Respond to the New Needs of Their Audience

In the webinar I watched and wrote about Thursday from MCI USA, one of their first suggestions was to have conversations with your customers. “The natural inclination at this time might be to withdraw [knowing how busy and focused people are], but the opposite should be true. It’s the time for strategic conversations and important questions. ‘How are you?’ should be the lead question. It’s a great time to be human and lead with empathy and understanding. ‘What do you need the most help with?’ ‘What are your pain points?'”
I poked around a little to see how some SIPA publishers are initiating these conversations and designing specific content.
Put your commitment to conversation up front. When I went in to Ragan Communications’ website this morning, I was met with a pop-up:
Talk to Us
The Ragan editorial team wants to help you with your COVID-19 crisis challenges.
– Tell us how we can best cover this crisis for you.
– Share with us how you are communicating during these challenges.”

Send a survey. The editorial team at Access Intelligence’s PRNEWS is requesting feedback about the type of content most desired by communications professionals. “In order to better understand what you need to perform your job well, we rely on your feedback, which in turn helps us develop our platform to meet your needs. So, let us know what type of content you look for on a daily basis…we’re listening

Create content to cover COVID-19 within your niche.
Example 1 – Columbia Books & Information Services’ Thompson Grants has created a specific new resource. To better assist the grants community, they’ve launched a free roundup at their Grants Compliance Expert website. The roundup provides a “list of links to memoranda and guidance issued by federal agencies—as well as the Office of Management and Budget—that are specifically relevant to grant applicants and recipients dealing with COVID-19’s impacts on grant programs,” writes Jerry Ashworth,editor for Thompson Grants.

Example 2 – SIPA member The Company Dime covers business travel management so their lead story is an important one: Coronavirus Exposes Weaknesses in Business Traveler Tracking. I’ve read many articles on stranded business travelers. The next article focuses on a support group for laid off travel industry professionals.
Example 3 – California tax experts Spidell Publishing has two sessions this week for “COVID-19 and Filing Extensions: What Tax Pros Need to Know.” They also have a full page of resources titled Coronavirus tax information and Spidell’s live webinars and seminars.” In the middle of that page they write: “Spidell seminars: The safety of our customers and our employees is our top priority.”
“Over-communicate”—in-house as well. In an interview with Digiday, Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith spoke about the importance of in-house communications as well. “We have been working from home for just over a week but our approach has been to ramp up communication as much as possible, almost over-communication. We ended up increasing the number of one-on-one meetings and group meetings in the first week. In some ways, you can have a more focused and less distracted conversation virtually.”
Evolve our work. Smith added that a lot of that communication has been “around the importance of responding to this change, how can we be entrepreneurial, how can we do things differently and adapt and evolve our work, our workflows, our product, our relations, or business relationships in ways that are better suited to these times?”
“Above all, maintain empathy for your users—and their changing needs and challenges, and focus on the data, not fear or anxiety, to make the right decisions for your business,” writes Ashley Mo on the Marketing Land site. “Staying strategic in this time means making quick adjustments as news cycles and performance reports dictate, so make sure you’re monitoring the macro landscape and your company’s internal and competitive reports aggressively to set your course with confidence.”

Keys to Starting and Running a Top Awards Program

A SIPA member emailed me last week to tell about their success with the awards program they run. (He/she wanted to remain anonymous.) No less than a U.S. senator from Nebraska called the awards program “prestigious” and sent out a special press release congratulating the Nebraska company on its award.

After talking about the many benefits of their awards program—good publicity, building customer loyalty, greater visibility, and even some personal feel-good vignettes—the SIPA member wrote, “I guess the bottom line for publishers to remember is we have a platform to get to acknowledge excellence and make people feel good about their daily lives for them and their families, and their legacy.”

Many SIPA members run excellent awards programs: Ragan CommunicationsColumbia BooksAccess Intelligence and Chartwell, to name just a few. And, of course, SIPA has our own SIPAwards, now in their 41st year.

The SIPAwards remain the industry’s top program for honoring specialized publishers. We’ve given them a refresh this year to increase their gravitas, keep up with the times and spotlight the winners more. So you’ll see new categories like Best Team on a Project or Event, and Best Infographic, categories honoring trends like video, podcasts, social media and data use, and then, of course, the standards for newsletters, articles, marketing and investigative reporting. Others that got fewer entries have been consolidated.

Here are some other keys to running a successful awards program:

Choose a good foundation. Use an awards system and process that saves you time, makes you look good, and, most importantly, is easy for every participant in your program.

Take time to plan an accurate and appropriate program calendar. Timing is critical for all awards programs. If your call for entry is too short, you may lose out on potential applicants. If you plan your gala near a holiday, no one will show up. Don’t approximate timelines; take the time to plan things out carefully.

Create a great awards website. Your awards website is one of the most important parts of your program and should be a big focus in the preparation of your call for entry. Ours is here. In creating an informative and easily navigable site you can guarantee that any visitor’s questions will be answered, and that they can become familiar with your program’s legacy and credibility within the industry.

Link your program to the core values of the organization. Whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned veteran, step back and ask yourself: Is your program aligning with the goals and values your organization is trying to promote? A successful awards program will be focused on what the organization is all about and create an opportunity for others in the industry to showcase their similar interests.

Attract and promote a high-caliber panel of judges. Cynopsis did this for their Short Form Video Festival awards, and we do this as well for the SIPAwards. It makes winning much more special. Jurors for Cynopsis included film executives from Vox Media, IFC, People/Entertainment Weekly and Meredith. For SIPA we get many presidents of member companies and experts in their niches.

Price reasonably and incentivize early entries. If you can get your entry to us by Friday Feb. 28, the cost per entry is the lowest price. Getting early entries also helps you relax; there’s that tendency in so many of us to do the things at the last minute.

Create varied categories. What are the latest trends in the industry? What would you like to see examples of? More categories will get more entries, if you’ve done your homework and know what people are doing.

Put on an awards gala. An awards gala is a great way to celebrate all the finalists and winners in your program. It’s also the perfect way to recognize every participant in the program, from the entrants to the judges to the program managers. Splash your brand around the gala and include your sponsors, too, if you have them. It’s a win-win-win! The SIPAward Luncheon Gala will be June 2.

Analyze the program each year. When your program is over it’s tempting to sit back, feel good and chill, but it’s important not to just take a break from things until the next awards season comes. Every program should analyze their data in order to understand what worked and what didn’t and how they can use that information to make next years’ awards even better.