May SIPA Member News

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Ragan Communications Welcomes Diane Schwartz as New CEO

At the bottom of a press release today announcing Diane Schwartz as the new CEO of Ragan Communications, came the line: "She will embark on an industry listening tour in the coming months and plans to announce several groundbreaking Ragan initiatives in the fall."


What a great way to start—by listening to customers. I'm sure that will be one of the many themes of SIPA Annual 2019 in just over a month. Schwartz, former publisher of Access Intelligence's PR News and one of the nation's most recognized experts in corporate communication, will join Ragan May 13 and most likely helm a planned New York City office opening later this year. 

"New York is one of the epicenters of PR and corporate communication," said Mark Ragan, owner and chairman of the board at Ragan. "We have long needed a presence there, and soon we'll have one."

The Chicago-based media company and long-time SIPA member is best known for its PR and communication news sites and its growing conference, training and membership divisions. Its daily news sites—PR Daily, and HealthCareNews—are read by more than 600,000 internal and external communicators monthly.

"Diane Schwartz is known by nearly every communicator and PR professional in the country," said Ragan. "I can think of few people in corporate communication as influential as Diane."

As CEO, Schwartz will look to continue the growth of Ragan's hugely successful Communications Leadership Council. Launched in 2017, the Council has grown to include nearly 100 Fortune 500 brands, including The Coca-Cola Company, Disney, Amazon, Aflac, Target and Microsoft.

Schwartz joins Ragan Communications after 23 years at Access Intelligence, where she was senior vice president and group publisher of the Media & Communications Division, including head of the PR News Group.

Welcome New Members 

We are excited to welcome the following new members to the SIPA community:

The Hill Times is a Canadian twice-weekly newspaper, published in Ottawa, Ontario, which covers the Parliament of Canada, the federal government and other federal political news.

Publish Interactive develops technology that allows research publishers to manage and deliver their high value content to their subscribers.

SIPA Annual 2019 Keynote Speaker Vlad Eidelman Featured in Radio Interview on How FiscalNote Predicts the Impact of New Laws with AI 

For anyone who wants a sneak peek into how Vlad Eidelman, VP of research at FiscalNote, will enlighten us in his SIPA Annual keynote on Wednesday, June 5, here is a recent radio interview he did with a group called DC Inno. (They've included the transcript.)

"I think there's a bit of a false dichotomy that's presented in the media often, between AI versus human," Eidelman said. "Whereas the real message should be human without AI versus a human period. And so, what AI is supposed to do is enhance the things that you're already doing.

"And so, there's a lot of routine work, a lot of data culling and munching, that someone today is probably doing to just even understand the current state of affairs. Whereas with AI, what it's really good for is processing and finding patterns in a lot of data. But it doesn't know if those are relevant patterns, if those are informative. We need an expert, a human to do that. Taking all of that analysis to understand, what am I going to do with it? How am I going to act on it? And hopefully, we make that decision point a little bit easier to digest."

If you have any news, hirings, transactions, awards or anything else you'd like fellow members to know about, please email me at Thank you!

Business Press Editors Recognize Lessiter Media's Farm Equipment for 'To the Point' Columns

In mid-April, Mike Lessiter, editor/publisher of Lessiter Media's Farm Equipment, received a Silver Award from the American Society of Business Press Editors for Editorial Writing. His "To the Point" editorial columns were recognized with a Silver award in the Upper Midwest Division, representing business editors in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. ASBPE judges evaluated two 2018 Editor's Letters in their evaluation.

HCPro Partners With Artifact Health to Provide Compliant, Time-Saving Clinical Documentation Improvement Templates for Provider Queries 

Artifact Health, which provides the first and only mobile platform that streamlines the physician query process, announced today that it has partnered with SIPA member Simplify Compliance's HCPro to provide and maintain a comprehensive library of compliant clinical documentation improvement (CDI) physician query templates. Artifact's HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based platform engages physicians, CDI specialists and coders with an easier and faster process to drive improvements in hospital and physician coding accuracy and publicly-reported quality measures.

Webinar Replay: The Paywall Shift – Converting Users Into Subscribers 

Instituting a paywall when users have grown used to free access can require a leap of faith. However, it doesn't need to be one. Today, more than ever before, subscriber "pulse" survey tools will set the tone for your business. SIPA member Farm Journal marketing director Joe May offers lessons learned from their paid product, Pro Farmer, while Signet Research shows how to set up a two-way channel of communications with customers. Click here to view.

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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…