Partnerships Can Broaden Your Audience and Provide More Value

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The Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) is partnering with IBM to allow their members to take e-learning courses on big data, data science, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and cognitive computing, through IBM's Big Data University.

MACPA got in touch with IBM to explore ways the association could be proactive. IBM offered to help by sharing its learning resources, customized for CPAs. "IBM will be able to keep it evergreen," said MACPA CEO Tom Hood.

Last week, I wrote an article about Alice Ting, VP, licensing & syndication for The New York Times, who gave a talk for SIIA about their success with content licensing. "What competencies do you have that can make you successful in the market?" she asked. "How are you going to enter the market? Partner?"

The SIPA Annual 2017 Conference is coming up fast (two weeks!), and that will be a perfect time to discuss "win-win" partnerships and idea exchanges with other publishers... in person. For IBM, partnering seems to go along with its current credo—they just ordered all 380,00 or so of their workers to come to the office. Face-to-face collaboration will be the new buzz words.

"In many fields, such as software development and digital marketing, the nature of work is changing, which requires new ways of working," said Steve Mnich, head of west coast communications for IBM. "We are bringing small, self-directed agile teams together, and we are investing heavily in new facilities, tools and contemporary work spaces for these teams."

I've come across other successful partnerships recently. The Skin Cancer Foundation has a new content-sharing partnership with Amazon, which will feature Foundation articles on its sites. "We're grateful for Amazon's support of our mission, and we look forward to working together for many years to come." said Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, president of the Skin Cancer Foundation.

And SIPA's own Quality Customer Service and Sales (QCSS) is partnering with the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women's Soccer League to advance women's soccer. The deal includes QCSS services to promote the Red Stars within the community, #AnsweringTheCall promotions (see sign in photo behind Red Star forward Christen Press) that will feature Red Stars athletes answering the call in women's sports, signage at all Toyota Park home matches, as well as the presenting partner for Player of the Match.

Partnerships give you several advantages:

1. Think long-term. "We're playing the long game here, which is getting audience and awareness. And that's really it," said a Washington Post exec, when they announced a big partnership program with other newspapers two years ago.

2. Find new audiences. QCSS will now see a whole new generation of potential customers through the soccer league.

3. Use the partnership as a testing ground. MACPA can test some of the IBM courses with their own members. There might be something you can test more easily and safely with a partner.

4. Broaden your outreach. The Skin Care Foundation will see their content exposed to a new audience of people. "When you consider the prevalence of this disease and how many people will see our messages, we know that lives will be saved," said Sarnoff

5. Offer a little disruption to your industry. "I think this idea of partnering with disruptors or innovators is going to be more critical in the future," Hood said.

6. Give subscribers/members more benefits and value. "...We have to learn how we can collaborate for the benefit of our members," Hood said.

7. Help each other. Because most SIPA members are in different niches, coverage mostly does not overlap. Perhaps you could partner with a member who is an expert at valuation, running events or webinars. Education businesses still need health information. Everyone might need debt collection tips.

Come to SIPA Annual 2017 and start talking!

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…