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Extending the Life of Your Content - 9/11/2012 -

Here are several takeaways from a recent Lunch & Learn on how to match up valuable content with the most effective media channels.

By Heather Shelton and Amanda Jennison

We all know the adage: "Work smarter, not harder.” Attendees of Association Media & Publishing’s recent Washington, DC Lunch & Learn got to listen and engage with three association professionals who have learned to do just that. Extending the Life of Your Content isn’t a pie in the sky attempt to reuse unwanted kitchen scraps. It’s a true match-up between media channels and valuable content.

Ever been to a Lunch & Learn that was focused on one idea, one approach, one association – and none of them matched up to your situation? Well, this one was different. In fact, we had a diversity of speakers and strategies to listen to. (Kudos to the content coordinator on this: Phaedra Brotherton, editor, Infoline, and senior writer-editor for the American Society for Training and Development.)

The three presenters:

  • Maggy Baccinelli, editorial coordinator at Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Chris Blasinsky, director of editorial projects at NACS, The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing
  • Mike Cannon, director of journal and editorial services, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Maggie Baccinelli brought us the "multimedia” angle. She told a great story about interviewing an attorney for one article, but then the interview went astray—in a good way. When she was done, she had her story and then some. It seemed a shame to throw away the extras—a moving story about this interviewee’s altruistic efforts to set up an orphanage in Haiti. Baccinelli turned that piece into a YouTube-quality video with audio and rotating photo images. It was such a hit, her boss decided to make it a monthly assignment.

Chris Blasinsky brought us the "13th Issue” for an angle geared toward a targeted market segment. NACS identified an audience of small convenience store and fuel operators it wanted to target for membership and annual trade show attendance. To connect with this niche audience, NACS curated a 13th issue using existing content. One of the challenges was reaching this audience, so they partnered with regional and ethnic associations to help distribute the 13th issue to the target audience—another great example of "work smarter, not harder.”

Mike Cannon brought us the "know your content and invest in how you feature it” angle. In 2010, a major content shift to online meant that journals were being consumed differently. Online capabilities brought deeper knowledge of how and what journal content was being downloaded (or not). But it also brought challenges. ASHA needed to better understand its content, curate it, and deliver the right content to their audiences.

Each of the speakers brought a great story to share. Cannon even brought some Lee Majors (of Bionic Man and Fall Guy fame) humor. Definitely had to be there! A big thank you to the event sponsors: Avectra, represented by Tom Shima, and ContentWorx, represented by Eric Peterson. We were treated to a lovely lunch at a new location – Venable, LLP. We had the company of the ever-enjoyable Hannah Andrews as event moderator. And finally, what’s a Lunch & Learn without the great company of association and vendor professionals who are out to improve their skills and knowledge with help from colleagues?

Heather Shelton is director of business development, and Amanda Jennison is marketing specialist at Bates Creative Group. Association Media & Publishing thanks them for volunteering to cover this Lunch & Learn for our members who were unable to attend.


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