E-News : August 11, 2009
News of the Week
ABM's B-to-B Career Development Program Just Two Days Away!
Join ABM and your industry peers this Thursday, August 13, in New York City for a morning of career case studies and conversation, developed by the Association’s Publishers and New York Regional Committees to address the greatest challenges of the ABM membership today.
Whether in a job transition or just looking to accelerate one’s career, attendees will benefit from real-life, practical tools and tips from experts who include:
- Jon Chalon, Media Executive (and former VP, Entertainment Technology Division, Penton Media)
- Bill Conneely, Director, Job Market, Strategy & Business Development, mediabistro.com
- Larry Dunn, Publisher, Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News
- Harry Somerdyk, Senior Director, Global Media Practice, Spencer Stuart
This program is FREE for all (current and former) ABM members; it’s just $25 for non-ABM members.
All attendees must pre-register, and space is limited, so what are you waiting for? Reserve your seat today!
News of the Week
ABM Hits the Road to Continue Strengthening Relationships with Sister Organizations
As an integral component of its new strategic planning process, ABM is reigniting its relationships with sister organizations and has positioned itself to develop an integrated b-to-b media ecosystem that will benefit the business media/information community.
ABM has already begun reaching out to various associations, hitting the road over the past few weeks to participate in several industry conferences. Last week, ABM’s CMO, Mark Rothman, attended the ANA’s ‘2009 B-to-B Marketing in the New World’ event in Chicago, which provided actionable ideas to help b-to-b marketers thrive in the current economy.
Todd Hittle, ABM’s CFO and general manager, traveled to Fort Worth, TX, last week to participate in the 11th Annual Agricultural Media Summit. There, he met with ABM’s Agri Council to discuss the development of an expansion program that will include new research and case studies to benefit Ag media professionals.
As VP of events, Jane O’Connor works to strengthen ABM’s relationships with leading organizations in the face-to-face arena. She recently attended TS2 2009 in Chicago, a four-day conference and two-day expo that provided total solutions marketing for exhibit/events professionals, as well as SISO’s Executive Conference in New York City last week. She is currently working on joint efforts with both SISO and CEIR.
For example, SISO has recently developed and published a case study on tradeshow marketing, available through Ivey Publishing and Harvard Business School, and is currently producing a syllabus for marketing students. ABM is connecting its academic members – top graduate schools across the country such as New York University, Northwestern University, the University of Missouri and the University of Southern California – with SISO, encouraging the schools to utilize SISO’s syllabus within their programs. For more information, or to connect your alma mater with this initiative, contact SISO Executive Director Lew Shomer at 310.450.8831, ext. 106.
Stay tuned to E-news for developments on ABM’s growing b-to-b ecosystem, or contact Wally Koval for more information about how you can partner with ABM.
'What ABM Means to Me'
American Business Media is working harder than ever to enhance the value proposition of your membership, and we’re constantly encouraged by positive feedback from our members.
Here in E-news each week will be a member testimonial which reflects how individual members view the ABM value proposition.
“As a new member of ABM, I wasn’t sure what to expect at the 2009 Top Management Meeting in Chicago; however, I found the conference to be invaluable for our company. The seminars and breakout sessions were relevant and extremely useful in helping with the continued development and growth of our company. Also, hearing how some of the top CEOs in the country are planning to face their many challenges in what could be a difficult year was very practical and beneficial, and I appreciated their candor. I’m so glad we’ve joined this worthwhile organization.”
- Don Moores, Partner/General Manager, Maximum Yield Publications
Click here to follow ABM on Twitter!
Click here to become a fan of ABM on Facebook!
Looking for a Job?
In addition to the “Job of the Week” highlighted in each issue of E-news, ABM has recently expanded its online job board to better reach out to the membership and media community with quality career opportunities. Powered by mediabistro.com, the site is updated constantly with openings across the country and enables you to search by industry and location. So what are you waiting for … Click here to begin your search!
Top Media Moves
United Business Media's TechWeb confirmed it will no longer publish two Microsoft publications aimed at developers: MSDN and TechNet. Beginning in October, the publications will be published by 1105 Media.
Communications spending will total $882.6 billion in 2009, a decline of 1% compared with 2008, according to private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson's latest "Communications Industry Forecast."
Digital Media Council: September 3, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST, ABM Headquarters
Net Neutrality Legislation Introduced in Congress
Net neutrality may soon join the crowded agenda of the 110th Congress. Last week, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a new pro-net neutrality bill. In the past, Markey led the net neutrality effort, as chair or ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. While he gave up that post to Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) this year, this filing indicates that Markey intends to push net neutrality legislation, even before Boucher’s committee (which already is burdened with a series of high-tech issues) presents its own version.
Markey’s bill, titled the “Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009,” would identify “preserving the open nature of Internet communications and networks” as federal policy. It expresses the aims of promoting consumer choice and competition among Internet providers, and guarding against favoritism for or against any content or services based upon their “source, ownership, or destination on the Internet.”
The bill would delegate specifics of implementing these policies to the Federal Communications Commission, which would have 90 days after enactment of the bill to promulgate specific enforcement regulations. Recently appointed FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is a long-time advocate of net neutrality.
The biggest difficulty with respect to net neutrality relates to the extent to which service providers can take normal steps to control network traffic without running afoul of non-discrimination mandates. Markey’s bill addresses that issue by recognizing that “reasonable network management” is allowable, and leaving to the FCC the task of defining that amorphous concept, in a manner that is “the least restrictive, least discriminatory, and least constricting of consumer choice available.”
In addition to the core net neutrality issue of non-discriminatory treatment of Internet users, the Markey bill appears to move into some consumer protection issues by going out of its way to identify “lack of competition” in the Internet service provider industry as a special concern for consumers. The bill would require service providers to provide transparency for consumers as to their services and network management practices, and it would prohibit service providers from tying Internet service to other services. Finally, the FCC would be charged with promoting competition in the field and “an ever-increasing level of Internet access to end users.”
USPS Third Quarter Results
It’s no secret that the Postal Service is experiencing a financial crisis, a fact that, despite the changing focus of many ABM members, is still of grave concern.
Last week, the Postal Service released its third quarter financial results at its Board of Governors meeting, and the numbers show no relief in sight. The Postal Service ended its third quarter (April 1 through June 30) with a net loss of $2.4 billion, which includes a non-cash adjustment that increased workers' compensation expense by $807 million. This latest report brings the fiscal 2009 year-to-date net loss to $4.7 billion, compared to a $1.1 billion loss in the same period last year.
Despite cost reductions against the fiscal 2009 plan to the tune of more than $6 billion and additional actions to grow revenue, the Postal Service projects a net loss of more than $7 billion by the end of the current fiscal year and is working to alleviate a possible September 30 cash shortfall of up to $700 million.
As reported in recent weeks, ABM is working, along with other mailers and associations as part of a newly-formed postal coalition, for legislation in Congress that would provide the Postal Service with some relief of the more than $5 billion payment to the retiree healthcare trust fund it must make in September.
In addition, mail volume saw its largest consecutive three-quarter drop in total volume since 1971. It totaled 41.6 billion pieces in the third quarter, down 7 billion pieces (or 14.3%), compared to a year ago. Overall, it has fallen by nearly 20 billion pieces in 2009 compared to the first three quarters of last year.
Sponsored Circulation, Digital Editions on the Agenda
at Periodicals Advisory Group Meeting
Last week, David Straus, ABM’s Washington counsel and postal expert, attended the Periodicals Advisory Group (PAG) meeting. Among the issues discussed that were of interest to ABM members were sponsored circulation and digital editions. Below, Straus summarizes the issues and asks for your feedback.
The issue of sponsored paid circulation has been discussed for some time, with publishers seeking some relief from the present Postal Service approach. In general, at present, paid subscriptions must be paid for by the recipient, but there are now two main exceptions. First, legitimate "gift" subscriptions are permitted, but there must be a one-on-one relationship between the giver and the recipient. This is, of course, a subjective test, but the example typically given for a non-gift, if there is such a word, is Macy's deciding to give a gift of a magazine subscription to 10,000 of its best customers. These are not now counted as paid.
The second principal exception is that an employer can purchase copies of job-related publications for employees. Each time this issue is raised at a PAG meeting, I say that whatever change or relaxation is made for paid subs should be made for requests as well. That suggestion is not enthusiastically received by the Postal Service representatives, but that doesn't mean we should give up. (I had a matter with an ABM member where the Postal Service claimed not only that "sponsored" requests – where a company sponsored subscriptions for its customers – were not legitimate requests, but also that the subsequent receipt of signed requester cards by recipients did not legitimize those as valid requester copies.) I also contended last week that if sponsored, paid subscriptions are counted toward the 50% requirement for paid, then the same type of sponsored, paid subscriptions must also count toward satisfaction of the 50% requester threshold, just as paid subscriptions above a nominal rate are now counted toward satisfaction of the 50% rule for requesters.
This is another issue that's been kicked around the PAG table for a long time, but we're getting closer to resolution. At the moment and for the past couple of hundred years, only printed "copies" have been counted in applying the rule that 50% of the copies distributed by any means must be paid for or requested by the recipient for Periodicals class qualification. With the emergence of identical, digital copies, there are now two reasons why some publishers want to "count" digital editions as well. One reason, advanced only by the National Newspaper Association, is that its members want to list digital editions on their postal form 3526 (the annual statement) so that they can show advertisers a truer, and of course higher, circulation figure. It's not clear to me, but apparently is to NNA, why their advertisers need to see those copies counted on the form 3526, but that is its position. Other publishers, including some ABM members, would like to see digital copies included, because they foresee the day when it may be necessary to count them in order to meet the 50% threshold. An initial proposal to count paid digital editions in the numerator of the fraction as paid but not to count unpaid digital editions in the denominator of the fraction didn't pass the laugh test.
Also, the Postal Service, which has indicated that it may give something on this issue, is concerned about both auditing in general and auditing free or non-requested copies specifically. In the print world, you have a print run as a starting point, so that the number of copies given away can be determined readily (absent outright fraud). With digital copies, on the other hand, there's no equivalent starting point, which presents both a compliance and an auditing problem.
Despite these impediments, we are close to a resolution whereby identical, digital copies may be (but don't have to be) counted by the publisher as long as both paid or request copies and non-paid, non-request copies are counted. In addition, if digital copies are included, and if the publisher requires counting of those digital copies to meet the 50% test, then any required circulation audit must be performed by an approved, independent audit agency (presumably BPA or ABC), assuming that procedures for doing so can be worked out. In other words, only if you have fewer than 50% paid or request copies with your printed copies would this outside requirement apply, and this is because the Postal Service does not have the capability of auditing electronic distribution. Also, the Postal Service, if it approves this at all, will impose a percentage requirement so that it doesn't have Periodicals with 10,000 digital copies and 3 mailed copies.
The Postal Service is seeking feedback on both of these issues, so if you have any thoughts or comments, please send them to David Straus at email@example.com by this Thursday, August 13.
Steven Brill, Thomas Haas Confirmed for ABM Executive Forum
With a dual focus on real solutions for today and real answers for tomorrow, ABM’s all-new 2009 Executive Forum, coming to New York City’s NYAS this November 3 and 4, will teach you how to exceed the expectations of your customers – both marketers and end-users (readers, viewers, attendees).
Among the impressive line-up of speakers already confirmed is Steven Brill, founder of Journalism Online, who will discuss his latest venture into monetizing online content during the session “Meeting the Challenges of the New Competitors – Leveraging Your Brand, Your Content and Your Bottom Line.”
You also won’t want to miss Thomas Haas, CMO of Siemens, who will discuss his company’s integrated campaign strategy in today’s current economic climate and share his plans for coming out of the recession. He will focus on his media partnerships with online, print, thought leadership events and social media.
Other sessions will include:
- Events in Transition – The 365-Day Tradeshow
- Politics, Policy and Your Pocketbook
- Profiting from the New Revenue/Cost Structure
- The New End-User Market – Monetizing Data
- Beyond the Advertising Budget – Accessing the Marketing Budget
Register now and take advantage of the special early bird registration rate, ending October 3.
CEIR Resources Now Available Free for ABM Members
As its strategic planning process evolves, ABM continues to reignite its relationships with sister organizations and position itself to develop an integrated b-to-b media ecosystem that will create synergies to benefit the business media/information community.
As one of many recent initiatives to deliver valuable products and services to members participating in the events space, ABM has partnered with the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) to provide important, timely information on the world of face-to-face … all at no cost to ABM members. CEIR is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering research-based knowledge tools.
The following resources are now available from CEIR (Go to www.CEIR.org, Select “Find Research” at the top):
- Effective Methods for Visitor Promotion (Part I: Exhibition Organizers)
- How Digital Marketing Affects Exhibition and Event Performance
- Looking Past the Recession: Exhibition Strategies for the Interim
- The Cost Effectiveness of Exhibition Participation
- The Effect of Economic Recessions on Exhibitions
The following studies will be available soon, so stay tuned to E-news.
- Effective Methods for Visitor Promotion (Part II)
- Exhibition Spend in the Corporate Marketing Mix
- Power of Exhibitions in the 21st Century: Identify, Discover, Embrace Change from the Young Generation’s Ideas
For more information, please contact Mark Rothman at 212.681.1106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABM Announces 2009-2010 Regional Governors, Programs
As part of its new and improved dashboard of services, ABM has created regional districts across the U.S. The motivation behind the creation of these districts came from an understanding that, due to the current economic climate, ABM members are finding it difficult to travel long distances to attend educational programs.
Now, ABM, with the assistance of regional governors and committees, is bringing the latest information on important industry issues to cities across the U.S. – all locally designed, staffed, and offered at no cost to ABM members.
Last fiscal year, six successful programs were produced in the following cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. We are pleased to announce the addition of Cleveland to this year’s line-up. Please find below a list of 2009-2010 regional governors and programs.
Regional Governor: Kate Miller, President, Newport Communications
Regional Program: November 18, 2009, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, USC Davidson Conference Center
Regional Governor: Beth Bronder
Regional Program: February 11, 2010, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, American Gas Association
Regional Governor: Randall Friedman, VP/Group Publisher, Lebhar-Friedman, Inc.
Regional Program: March 25, 2010, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, Google, Inc.
Regional Governor: Janet Ludwig, President, Allured Business Media
Regional Program: April 14, 2010, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, Google, Inc.
Regional Governor: Dan Verdon, Editor-in-Chief, DVM Newsmagazine
Regional Program: April 29, 2010, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square
Regional Governor: Marion Minor, CEO, M2MEDIA360
Regional Program: May 2010 (Date and Location TBD)
Regional Governor: Tom Cintorino, SVP, Digital Media & PennEnergy, PennWell Corporation
Regional Program: June 3, 2010, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, John Hancock Hotel & Conference Center
TS2 2009 Experiences Industry Firsts
Qualified buyers, industry partnerships and new technologies are forefront of 2009 event
TS2, Total Solutions Marketing for the Exhibit and Event Professional, took place on July 20-23 in Chicago. The four-day conference and two-day expo, featuring 150 exhibiting companies and 70 powerful conference sessions held strong in spite of the sagging economy; National Trade Productions, Inc., owners and operators of TS2 since 2004, announced today that the event experienced only a 15% decrease in attendance from the 2008 event, which boasted its best attendance since the 2004 purchase of the show.
"The largest decrease we saw this year was in booth personnel, which made the exhibitor-to-attendee ratio much more favorable. Additionally, more decision-makers attended alone as opposed to bringing lower-level staff to this year's event, increasing the level of qualified buyers," said Robert Harar, chairman of National Trade Productions.
The exhibit hall showcased 30,000 net square feet of exhibits in addition to the interactive IN Zone, new product showcase, the Premiere Zone, Exhibit Hall Education and more. "We doubled our leads from last year and expect to start doing new business within a week of the show. Compared to years past, we found we were talking a lot more to the decision-maker, rather than an assistant which streamlined the process ten-fold," said Ray Baum, Director of Client Relations, ListeNation.
The 2009 Premiere Zone featured 22 new products and services introduced to the industry over the last year. A panel of industry judges reviewed all entries, and their votes were tallied along with the votes of all show attendees to determine the 2009 Breakthrough Award winners. The winners are as follows:
1st Place: Trade Show Planning & Measurement Tool by Exhibit Surveys, Inc.
2nd Place: Project Edition by Exhibitforce.com
3rd Place: MinipaK by Vector5 Collaborative
In addition to the Premiere Zone awards, awards are also given for Best in Show. These awards are determined by a panel of judges considering company identity, exhibit environment, design, presentation, exhibit personnel effectiveness, and overall "wow" factor. The 2009 winners are:
Overall Best in Show: Deckel & Moneypenny
Runner Up – Island Booths: Out of the Box Exhibits
Runner Up – Inline Booths: 3D Exhibits
The 2009 event also featured the use of various technologies new to the industry including the MingleStick by Mingle360, Tradeshow Wayfinder by Prism Technologies, and ChirpE by a2z, Inc. The MingleSticks, essentially an electronic business card, allowed show participants to swap contact information with the click of a button. All connections were then made available to the participants online where they can follow-up with these contacts directly. The Tradeshow Wayfinders served as interactive directional maps for attendees looking for exhibitors and meeting rooms while at the show. ChirpE allowed attendees with Smart Phones to search exhibitors and conference sessions directly on their mobile devices. "The use of technology was definitely the buzz at TS2 this year," said Shauna Peters, marketing manager. "It was exciting to learn about new ways to connect and keep in touch by trying them out first-hand."
With the launch of The International Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing, a joint venture between National Trade Productions and the International Association of Exhibition and Events (IAEE), already featuring more than 8,000 members, TS2 2009 debuted an industry meeting place, bringing together show organizers, exhibitors and suppliers for an industry first. "The foundation we have established through our partnership with so many industry organizations is extremely exciting. By bringing together all aspects of the industry, TS2 will continue to be at the forefront of face-to-face marketing and the future of trade shows," said Harar.
For more information on TS2 2009, visit www.ts2show.com.
'SEO: The Audacity of Hoping to be on the First Results Page'
Register now for free Nstein webinar
Prime Visibility has been helping companies of all sizes tap the organic search pump for over a decade. Its solutions help increase brand and Web site visibility and increase site traffic, all the while reducing acquisition costs. This Thursday, August 13, from 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST, Prime's president, Andrew Hazen, will be joining Nstein's media specialist Diane Burley and senior product strategist Christopher Hill to discuss:
- The special advantages content information companies have when it comes to organic search
- Potential roadblocks and how to avoid them
- Best practices in optimizing your pages
- How social media can drive traffic
- And much more!
Click here to register for this free webinar.
ABM Confirms Power of Business Media with Research, Ads
ABM recognizes that many marketers are concerned about investing in advertising during this current period of economic uncertainty. And while nobody knows for sure in which direction the economy is heading, one important fact is undeniable: Advertising in b-to-b media can significantly benefit businesses, especially during periods of economic uncertainty.
To spread this powerful message, ABM has produced the following, all available free for members:
- "The Importance and Value of B2B Advertising During Times of Economic Uncertainty," a presentation summarizing the wealth of data that has been accumulated over time. An updated version of the presentation is now available with data from a recent BtoB survey and additional insights from the Harvard Business Review, Coopers & Lybrand, and more.
- A powerful new ad which features significant findings from several recent studies, including ones by Yankelovich/Harris and Forrester. Click here or contact Kate Patton to download the FREE ad for use in your publication or on your Web site. (It’s available in various electronic banner ad formats, including Leaderboard and Skyscraper, and you can customize the ad with your logo to make it better resonate with your audiences.)
- An Ag Media version of the above ad. Members including AgriMarketing, High Plains Journal and Meister Media are already taking advantage of this valuable ad to promote the power of Ag media to their audiences. Click here or contact Kate Patton to download the FREE ad for use in your publication or on your Web site.
Did You Know?
Most business decision-makers use or intend to use Web 2.0/emerging media today: When asked ‘Which of the following activities relevant to your job or industry have you tried or considered trying?,’ 90% identified using a mobile device and attending a Web-based event while 86% said it was reading a blog.
This is just one of many significant findings from a recently-conducted Forrester consulting study, commissioned by American Business Media. It’s one of the most comprehensive in the business media space, and thousands of industry professionals are already finding it an invaluable tool for analyzing the trends and impact of b-to-b media on both end users/decision-makers and marketers. The study simultaneously examined more than 800 marketers who operate in the business media space and 800 end-users to provide an incredibly accurate and insightful assessment of the current state and value of b-to-b media.
Check out the six different versions of the study available on ABM's Research & Marketing page to best fit your specific needs. Act now and access this important industry research, or contact Wally Koval for more information.