Publishing with Purpose - How Brief Media Combines Business Success with Doing Good

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Business-to-business media is about connecting buyers and sellers but increasingly publishers are embracing the wider corporate trend of social purpose—standing for something bigger than just the business objectives.

In our latest podcast, Elizabeth Green, CEO of Tulsa-based Brief Media, which serves the veterinary industry, shares how investing in the success and well-being of others, from mentoring local entrepreneurs to traveling the world to eradicate disease with the Mission Rabies project, is also translating into business success, including partnerships and employee satisfaction and retention.

“At Brief, we are emphatic about placing the right people in the right jobs,” says Green. “We do an extensive amount of personality profiling, including looking at motivating factors. My personal number one motivating factor is altruism. That is also a predominant factor company-wide (followed by hedonism—we do like to have fun) but altruism is really what motivates the majority of people that work at Brief Media.”

In 2015, Brief Media teamed with Mission Rabies, which is working to eliminate the disease by 2030. “The fact is that somewhere between 50,000 and 100,00 people a year die from rabies in Africa and India alone,” says Green. “One hundred children die each day around the world from rabies. I was horrified by that. You hear about HIV, you hear about Ebola, but I had no idea so many people die each year from rabies.”

As part of the initiative, Brief sends volunteers on two missions per year, including one to Uganda earlier in 2019 and one to Goa, India in October, which Green herself took part in. Her group vaccinated 7,000 dogs in 10 days, including 4,000 strays that they had to catch.  

The human mortality rate from rabies in Goa is now zero. “The beauty of this program is that we get to use our veterinary knowledge to save lives and do it more effectively and efficiently than using the human rabies vaccine because it can break the disease cycle,” says Green.

Not lost on Green or Brief Media is the necessity of business success to fund altruism. Three years ago, the company was 90 percent print-driven; today, Brief sees 45 percent of its revenue from digital media and audience data, 30 percent from Plumbs Veterinary Drug, a subscription data product, and about 25 percent from print advertising and marketing services.

“We’ve heard for years that content is king and all of a sudden we [as an industry] believe data is king,” says Green. “We have a different philosophy here —we believe data has content. What has made Plumbs Veterinary Drug so successful is the content—it’s credible and reliable and in a format that people can easily access. For those of us who have grown up in media, it's refreshing to know that content is still king, even in a data platform.”

 Listen to the full interview and subscribe to the Connectiv BizMedia podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, Deezer,  Spotify and SoundCloud.

Matt Matt Kinsman is vice president of content + programming at Connectiv, the only association focused on the integrated b-to-b model—including publications, events, digital media, marketing services and business information. Prior to joining Connectiv's predecessor American Business Media in 2011, Kinsman was executive editor of Folio:, the leading information provider for the magazine industry.