This year’s Association Media & Publishing annual meeting was packed with great sessions! Salient pointers and quotes seemed to jump off the pages of my copious notes. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Be relevant and helpful: drill down to your customers’ customers so that your members have access – be the conduit for the member-customer connection.
(Fearless – The Future of Association Publishing)
- How we tell a story matters. Know your audience and their language. Language continues to evolve, but always consider genre, tone, and audience when you communicate. (Interesting factoid: Love it or hate it, the use of singular “they” has origins in the King James Bible, the works of Shakespeare, and other notable literary heavy-weights of centuries past.)
(The Great Grammar Debate)
- Everyone in your organization has a super power. Find the angle that lets your individual staffers or members tell their story and use it to bring creativity and life into your messages, your brand. Create your community by bringing unique individual voices into the conversation.
- Dear Baby-Boomers and Gen-Xers, stop complaining about Millennials! Align with them – they’re currently the largest generation in the US, and will soon be the largest generation in the workforce. Acknowledge their unique appreciation of and expectation for diversity and “group-solve” – these are critical elements of innovation.
(The Power of Millennial Alignment)
- CEOs are “ministers of culture” for their organizations. Their role is to ensure the organization’s framework is clear. They are a representative voice in the association, but more than anything, CEOs want to empower their staff to own and shepherd the message of the organization. Their advice to staff: Manage Up!
(What do CEOs Think About Communications, Media, and Publishing?)
- People remember 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read, and 10% of what they hear. We get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second. An infographic is like a good story – it has the ability to convey an idea by taking you from one phase to another, sequentially and seamlessly. The dots are all connected, and the ideas integrated. (Bonus Tip: If you need a key to explain the infographic, it probably doesn’t work.)
(What Your Designer Wishes You Knew About Infographics)
- Electronic publishing is an animal of a different stripe when it comes to copyright law. When an electronic book is sold, the purchaser receives a link to stored content, but the seller still “owns” the book and can even take it back. What’s more, the purchaser doesn’t have the right to resell the electronic book, as would be the case with a purchased print book.
(Top Legal Concerns in Publishing – Things You Need to Know)
- One in every 4 minutes on the internet is spent on a social platform. Kodak moments are so yesterday – we are no longer capturing just special occasions. Kitten videos are everywhere and attention spans are getting shorter. Of note: 80% of web traffic will be video by 2018, and 45% of today’s YouTube viewers quit a video after 60 seconds. (Bonus cool apps: Cinemagraph – creates a “flixel” by animating only one piece of an image. Periscope and Meerkat for livestreaming)
(Video, Micro-video, Gifs and Livestreaming)
- Be very careful not to overbuild, complicate or overpromise on your app or you’ll fall victim to “bloatware”, a condition of trying to listen to all stakeholders, making your app difficult to use and easy to discard.
(Should You Build a Mobile App?)
- Is there a clear separation between editorial and ad sales team’s activities at your organization? That could be a less-than-winning formula. Adopt a progressive culture where ad sales and editorial meet regularly to integrate mindsets – sales observes editorial brainstorming and editors learn to look for sales opportunities. A culture of mutual respect will yield better ideas and new ways to serve your members.
(Editorial and Sales Collaborate to Maximize Revenue)
The theme of this year’s meeting was apt: Heartbeat of the Association Publishing World. Indeed, there was a world of content presented, with enough depth and detail for all attendees. Every association publisher knows that this is an extraordinarily fast-paced time in the industry, and new ideas, tools, and approaches are coming at us with lightning speed.
So… with that said, here’s my extra-special, incredibly important, not at all secret, number one take-away: DO NOT miss this meeting. Association publishers who want to keep current, share and learn best practices, network, and stay profitable and relevant long into the future will put this don’t miss event on their calendars. But take note: AM&P is actually less about an annual meeting and more about a vibrant community that shares and interacts throughout the year – a powerful resource at your disposal. This 53-year old organization is YOURS. Jump in!