Professional Development Made Easy: Webinars

ASBPE has an exciting slate of webinars scheduled for the first half of 2010.

TODAY: March 29 @ 12:30 to 1:30 EST: Why B2B Publications Are So Bad at Marketing (and how to fix it). Speaker: Joe Pulizzi of Junta42.

April 29 @ 12:30 to 1:30 EST: Ten Trends that Could Make (Or Break) Our Editorial Careers. Speaker: Jim Sulecki of Meister Media. (For a preview, see Sulecki’s blog post on this topic.)

May 20 @ 12:30 to 1:30 EST: Managing Online Communities.

June 17 @ 12:30 to 1:30 EST: Managing Your Career in the B2B Press: How to Transform Yourself Into an Indispensable Asset in Today's Turbulent Economy. Speakers: Howard Rauch of Editorial Solutions, Inc. and John Bethune, writer, editor, and online entrepreneur.

Have any ideas for a future webinar? Would you like to help moderate one or assist with some of the behind-the-scene aspects? Contact Steve Roll at b2beditor AT

To learn our webinars, visit

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Google Makes Social Networking a Must

By Maureen Alley

At the end of 2009, Google announced that it was going to start indexing Twitter as well as adding real-time activity into search results. These two announcements make participation on the real-time Web more important than ever. Why? Because Google is the number-one search engine, with 65.2 percent of all searches in February 2010 alone, according to The Nielsen Co. If you're not tweeting or using Twitter correctly, then you're missing out on appearing in this new scope of search results.

Need convincing? The amount of time users spend (5.5 hours) on Facebook and Twitter grew 82 percent from December 2008 to December 2009, according to Nielsen. In addition, Nielsen reports Twitter increased unique visitors by 579 percent, with 18.1 million unique visitors from December 2008 to December 2009. These are massive numbers that you can't ignore, and numbers that Google is no longer ignoring.

But simply using social networking sites like Twitter isn't enough — especially if Google is indexing your Twitter profile. Here are a few tips to ensure you're using the medium correctly and taking full advantage of Google's index.

1. Tweet info your readers want and need. If you wrote a new article that is timely, tweet it. If there's breaking news in your industry, tweet it.

2. Use reporting for the links in your tweets. There are many URL shorteners that include analytics and reporting. Take advantage of these free tools to watch what works on Twitter and what doesn't.,, and (owned by Google) are just three of many on the Web.

3. Add personality. People like to see that a person is behind the tweets. Put your picture as the Twitter avatar. Or if you put the magazine's logo as the avatar, make sure it's clear in your tweets that there's a person behind the information. Add commentary and interest.

4. Be involved. Listen to what others are saying and get involved in the conversation. Think of it as networking at a trade show event and making connections.

5. Take advantage of Twitter's consumer relations capabilities. Sign up for or a similar tool so you get notifications when someone tweets about you. Then respond to them.

By following these few tips, you'll make your online presence stronger, appear in Google results with quality information, and become a stronger asset to your industry. Remember: Your online presence should be just as important as your brand's presence at trade shows.
Maureen Alley was formerly managing editor for Website Magazine, and Residential Design & Build magazine. She recently resigned from her position at Website Magazine to move closer to family in Madison, Wis. and is looking for a full-time position. Feel free to contact her at malley13[at]gmail[dot]com or visit

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Webinar: B2B Marketing featuring Joe Pulizzi

Why B2B Publishers Are So Bad at Marketing (and how to fix it)

In the past, B2B publishers relied on a fairly reliable marketing arsenal to attract readers and advertisers:

  • online resource center
  • sales sheets
  • promo e-mails
  • house ads

But many are finding that these methods aren't working anymore.

To standout from the crowd, it's more important than ever to position your publication as a trusted authority for both readers and advertisers.

In this 60-90 minute Webinar, attendees will learn how to: craft marketing messages with relevant content aimed at solving some of the toughest problems your prospects are facing

  • position your publication as a trusted solutions provider for your industry
  • weigh the pros and cons of marketing initiatives such as electronic and print newsletters as well as blogging and other social media platforms
  • The Webinar will also cover unconventional marketing methods such as holding a conference or publishing a book on a topic you cover.

Event Details

Date: Monday, March 29th, 2010
Time: 12:30 to 2:00 pm EST
Location: Your desktop computer
Cost: $20 for members, $45 for nonmembers

To register:

Option 1: Pay online. Use the web form below to pay online via credit card or PayPal. Instructions for obtaining webinar access will be emailed to you once you have paid.

Member Status

Option 2: Use PayPal via email. Go to PayPal and use the Send Money tab to send the proper amount to Instructions for obtaining webinar access will be emailed to you once you have paid.

Option 3: Pay by check or pay for multiple registrations at one time (regardless of payment method). Fill out this registration form (72K Word doc) and return it to Holly Lundgren with your payment by March 26. Webinar access information will be provided once you have registered.

Questions? Contact Steven Roll at

About Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi, the founder of Junta42 and co-author of Get Content, Get Customers, is a speaker, blogger, and content marketing evangelist. Junta 42 helps companies enhance their marketing efforts by matching them up with creators of compelling content.



Last Call for Tabbie Nominations

You worked hard in 2009, and you have one more chance to show the world what you’re made of, how hard your staff has worked, why your magazine is the best in your industry. The 2010 Tabbies are in the final stretch.

All English language trade, association or business-to-business magazines and websites are eligible for this editorial, design and online competition. TABPI is still accepting late entries (please note the entry fee for late entries is $95/nomination), postmarked by Friday, March 26.

Your magazine doesn't have to be located in a particular country or belong to a specific organization to participate. In fact, TABPI has averaged about 700 entries over the past few years from across the globe: New Zealand, South Africa, the United States, the U.K., Canada, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and the list goes on.

Please click here to download the PDF Tabbies Call for Entries brochure. An editable version of our entry form is here (PDF).

The Tabbies international B2B magazine competition, sponsored by Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI), encompasses 20 categories, and is open to English language business-to-business publications around the world that are published at least quarterly.

The 2010 Tabbies are also supported by companies that have an interest in working with B2B editors and publishers — as well as supporting editorial and design excellence. Your support of them is most appreciated. The Gold Sponsors for the 2010 Tabbies are Proximity Marketing and Foster Printing Service. The Silver Sponsor for the 2010 Tabbies is Business Strategies Group Asia.

Categories in the Tabbies' editorial division include: Best Single Issue, Department, Editor's Column, Feature Article, Focus/Profile Article, How-To Article, News Coverage, Regular Column, Single News Article, Special Section, and Technical Article. Categories in the design division include: Feature Design, Front Cover, Digital Imagery; Front Cover, Illustration; Front Cover, Photograph; Front Cover, Special Issue; Opening Page or Spread; and Table of Contents. The online division recognizes the most interactive, informative B2B websites, as well as online-only features.

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Social Media 411

Photo: Tonie AuerBy Tonie Auer
DFW Chapter President

We hear about it all the time: social media. Everyone wants to know how to harness its power and rein it in for more readers. If it helps promote your publication, industry or personnel, it seems like a great idea, right?

Well, not if it is a drag on your resources without the payoff. To that end, Reuters set up social media principles and guidelines. "The rise of social media has brought journalists some powerful new storytelling and information-gathering tools. However, with these new opportunities have come some new risks," the blog post states.

According to the site:
At Reuters, we have just published some social media guidelines that lay out some basic principles and offer recommendations that should prove useful as journalists navigate what can sometimes seem a chaotic landscape.

In building the new guidelines, we’ve embraced some basic principles:
  • We encourage the use of social media approaches in Reuters journalism.
  • Accuracy, freedom from bias and independence are fundamental to our reputation. These values and the Trust Principles apply to journalism produced using social media just as they have to all other journalism produced by Reuters.
Has your staff taken the initiative to set up social media guidelines? Why or why not? How important is it? For those of us with limited resources, it could be really important.

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Don’t Have Formal Ethics Guidelines Yet? Here Are Two Ideas

By Howard Rauch

B2B editors unhappy with the state of ethics at their companies have yet to create written policy statements covering their concerns. Arising disputes are handled from scratch, on a case-by-case basis. For those of you seeking a better way, here are two approaches I found during some recent research.

Computerworld posts its policy online. Yep, you can’t miss the “Code of Ethics” link on the Web site’s "About Us" page. Visitors who connect see a modified listing of ten principles excerpted from a more detailed internal policy:
1. Computerworld’s first priority is the interest of its readers.

2. Editorial decisions are made free of advertisers’ influence.

3. We insist on fair, unbiased presentation in all news and articles.

4. No advertising that simulates editorial content will be published.

5. Plagiarism is grounds for dismissal.

6. Computerworld makes prompt, complete corrections of errors.

7. Journalists do not own or trade in computer industry stocks.

8. No secondary employment in the IT industry is permitted.

9. Our commitment to fairness is our defense against slander.

10. All editorial opinions will be labeled as such.
“The issue is not the code itself but how it is interpreted for a type of publishing that wasn’t in existence when it was written,” says Computerworld editor-in-chief Scot Finnie.

Before moving on to my next example, here is some additional advice about complaint-handling policy. In my preconsulting days, when I was VP/editorial of a leading B2B multipublisher, proper complaint handling was accorded high priority. We had a written policy in place. What’s more, periodically we would run a complaint-handling workshop for new editors and/or salespeople. The session usually was led by our executive vice president. Here are a few policy excerpts specifically directed to editors:
  • If you receive a complaint via telephone, take down all the information – and make the caller aware that you are doing so. Do not argue, and don’t constantly break in to pass the buck to your printer, the advertising department or anyone else. For the moment, you are the magazine to the complaining party – and that party expects results from you.

  • The very same day, a letter should be sent to the aggrieved party confirming the conversation, offering a solution, or indicating a deadline by which you will get back to that person with a solution. If appropriate, attempt to resolve the problem by offering to print a prompt correction, a letter to the editor or “compensatory editorial” in an early issue.

  • Your readiness to resolve the complaint may in itself be the ticket to neutralizing the anger of the person at the other end of the line. Before you end the call, always ask the complaining party whether there are any other concerns that should be addressed.

  • If the complaint is serious to the point that you can’t arrive at a solution, try bumping the matter up to your boss. Attention from a superior often scores points with the complainant.

  • A conciliatory approach may make a friend and avert a crisis!
Eight issues to consider when a proposed article involves an advertiser

Here is an interesting list I came across that at one time had been used by an association publication.
1. Where did the proposed story originate? If from the advertising department, is the motivation to inform the reader or to curry favor with the advertiser?

2. Is the article’s subject legitimate news or information regardless of who originated the idea?

3. Assuming the article is journalistically valid, is the editorial department free to pursue it independently regardless of where the story leads? Will the advertising department have any voice in determining sources to be interviewed? Will the advertising department have any censorship powers over the final version once the article is written?

4. Will publication of the article benefit one advertiser primarily or competing advertisers generally?

5. Will publication of the article give the appearance of weakening the editorial credibility of the publication? Can competing magazines use the article against you as evidence of a sell-out? Can competing advertisers claim foul or unfair influence?

6. Will publication of the article adversely affect morale among your own staff?

7. Taking all of the above into consideration, is there a way the article can be published that both the editorial and advertising departments can live with? Can the editorial focus be shifted in a way that permits editorial independence and still gives the advertising department something to take back to the advertiser?

8. Using your best journalistic training, experience and judgment, does publication of the article “feel right?”
If you have interesting examples of ethics policy statements that you are able to share with other ASBPE members, please give me a call at (201) 569-7714 or e-mail

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Look Into the Numbers

By Maureen Alley

Journalism and new media experienced a front-end collision in the last few years. Social media, faster news cycles and increased demand from all angles are driving journalists to report more at faster rates. And with more to do with less time to do it, journalists often fall to the numbers.

What do I mean by falling to the numbers? Simply: Quickly posting content that cites statistics because they sound interesting. People love stats, and love to cite stats to back up their beliefs. And knowing this, you grab the articles that have numbers and post them. You’ll increase your traffic and user engagement. However, you may be hurting the very people you’re trying to report to.

During my time as managing editor for Website Magazine, I quickly learned that any headline with statistics would drive huge traffic numbers to the website. It would increase retweets on Twitter and ultimately discussion. And isn’t this all what it’s about? Well, not really.

Anyone who is a close follower of politics knows that it’s easy to sway stats in your favor. And anyone who attended journalism school knows it’s important to look at all the numbers to really know what they mean.

So while we need to report and provide the information our readers want/need, we also need to remember our journalistic foundation. You could be providing information to your readers that is inaccurate or doesn’t take into account the whole story. It might take a little longer to report the story, but you’ll know you’re reporting accurate information. Your readers will recognize it, and so will your advertisers.

Maureen recently left her job at Website Magazine to move closer to home in Madison, Wis. She's currently looking for a new writing/editing gig, so give her a shout at if you know of anything in that area.

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Designing The Feature Article: How to Make it Interesting

By Jim Romeo

There are thousands of web sites, blogs and trade publications. So why should any reader come to your publication and read your content? What makes someone choose your editorial content over your competitors’? What makes your features get clipped and passed around the office of your readers? How do you become the bellwether voice in the industry? How can you become the go-to source of information?

I suppose there are no silver bullets for success. But there are ways of shaping editorial content to make it more engaging; content with a cherry on top. I've outlined some ideas that I believe "up the odds" of your content being at the front of the information line. Here are a few such points to ponder:

1. Let someone else do the talking. The most potent source is an end user; someone who uses the product, technology, or service. Quotes from an end user carry weight with a reader and add value to the overall article. Shift the narrative over to the user's experience and you’ve given the article a breath of fresh air.

2. Make anecdotes and real-life examples the hero of the article. A case study has been proven to be an effective way of presenting information. Look at law schools and business schools of today. Many have adopted the case-study method as a means for presenting concepts and information. When a topic is complex or difficult to demonstrate in 1000 or so words, a case study is a convenient way to make it comprehensible. Illustrate your point with anecdotes and examples and readers will appreciate it.

3. Use the entire supply chain to find different perspectives on a topic. If you go up and down the supply chain in your industry, you will find different voices who have different perspectives on the topic. This is an often overlooked way of presenting information. Different perspectives from different players give an article a new angle, a new life, and new way of looking at a problem.

4. Be the crystal ball of the industry. What will the situation be one to three years out? Three to five years out? If we only knew. But a crystal ball into the future is what everyone savors. Plenty of people have an opinion on the future, so why not present it? Closing the article with a forecast of the future provides value to readers. It plants a bug in their head as to what the future holds.

Jim Romeo is a freelance writer based in Chesapeake, Virginia who specializes in business and technology topics.,

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What’s Your Reader Engagement Strategy?

By Ginger Conlon

At 1to1 Media we’re all about helping our readers improve their customer engagement, so we had better practice what we preach. And we do. In fact, we have a formal (though not written), award-winning engagement strategy that includes gathering and using feedback, hosting roundtables, facilitating introductions, interacting on our site and on social media sites, and tracking and scoring reader engagement based on their interaction levels. Any media organization could benefit from adopting or updating its approach to reader engagement.

And, here's the cutoff: interested in reading more about the elements of their strategy and the benefits the publication and its readers experienced? Look for the next ASBPE newsletter for a complete listing. Don't get the newsletter? Join ASBPE. It is one of our member benefits. Plus, you get all the rest of this great piece of information.

As editorial director of 1to1 Media, Ginger Conlon is responsible for the direction and day-to-day editorial operations of the award-winning 1to1 Magazine, its website, e-newsletter, blog, and podcast series, as well as the executive journal Customer Strategist. Additionally, she serves as president of the New York chapter of the ASBPE. Contact her at

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Promoting the Work of Guest Writers

By Rosalie Donlon

When you publish B2B content you often rely on professionals for articles sharing their expertise or insight. My authors are attorneys and other professionals who write for a nonlegal audience. It has always been a challenge getting them to write for our journals and share their knowledge for glory instead of cash.

In the current economic climate, I find that professionals are more aware of the importance of getting – and keeping – their names in front of potential purchasers of their services. I used to have more success with senior associates or junior partners who were trying to build up their practices than with senior or name partners. Recently, I’ve found that professionals at all levels understand the value of contributing to B2B publications, and their firm’s marketing department often helps encourage them to publish articles. I’ve gotten to know the directors of marketing for several professional firms and they do a great job of finding authors. They also nudge the professional for you many times, which has been a big help. In the last year, I’ve had marketing directors contact me asking about publishing articles or other content from their firms.

I’ve found a related problem with professional authors that can be difficult to deal with. Often, a professional will commit to writing an article, but miss the deadline because of the demands of billable work, which always comes first, especially in 2010. One solution we’ve tried is to turn the planned article into an interview. The professional is more willing to give us an hour of time to share his or her expertise than to sit down and write from scratch. If the professional’s time is really tight, we’ve e-mailed a list of questions, received answers, then followed up by e-mail and finally by phone. Our authors also help us find other professionals, either in their firms or among their colleagues.

To help promote the professional’s article, we usually offer a limited number of free reprints and permission to post the article on the firm’s website (with attribution, of course). In certain circumstances, we allow the professional to use the article as part of a handout for seminar or conference materials (again with attribution). We find that this encourages other professionals within the same firm to contribute to our publications and it helps us by keeping the publication’s name in front of potential subscribers. In the current economy, we’ll use whatever channels are available to promote our authors’ contributions and our publications.

Rosalie Donlon is an acquisition editor with Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, focusing primarily on corporate compliance and employment law issues. A graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, Rosalie has worked in the business and professional publishing industry for more than 20 years. She can be reached at

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