It was impressive to watch the guests on Bob Coleman's Coleman Report Live
on Friday (on GoToWebinar) talk about the inherent problems—like getting through on the SBA portal and banks handling new customers—with the $349 billion loan program that is key to staving off a further economic downturn, and then see this top-of-news all weekend.
They were back at it today at 1 pm on the daily show—Caity Witucki quite ably filled in for Bob as host—with guests who said they worked 16-17 hours both days this weekend. It was just another example of SIPA publishers being on the frontlines of the nation's biggest headlines—here, on a topic, judging by the current Discussion Forum thread, that's of wide interest to SIPA members.
Here are some tips I've come across on other ways that publishers can shine brightly during this crisis:
"Adapt your publishing schedule to the pace of the news,"
wrote Lyndsie Clark
on the Niche Publishing Network
site this morning. "If you don't usually publish on your website every day, reconsider this during the pandemic when your audience is searching for the most up-to-date information. If they don't get the news from you, they'll find it elsewhere, and you may lose a subscriber." A weekly podcast or wrap-up may not be enough anymore.
Put even greater emphasis on customer service. "Regardless of the challenges that your team [is] facing, make sure that they are mindful of the pressure that your subscribers and advertisers might be under..." Clark added. "You'll likely receive more inquiries as your [subscribers] grapple with the changed environment, and it's important that your customer service is as efficient and helpful as possible."
"We're getting hit from every possible direction from a vast array of members seeking clinical guidance," Chris Busky
, CEO of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), told Associations Now
. "We've had daily management team meetings to talk about how we can take staff from areas that are not quite as busy, or programs that we've deferred or canceled this year, and reallocate some of those staff resources." Wrote Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock
: "We've resourced our content team to ensure our audiences have the business information and intelligence they need to make smarter business decisions."
Partner with other organizations. IDSA has been working with the CDC, NIH and FDA to provide clinical guidance on the pandemic, and it's also developed partnerships with related medical associations to advocate collectively on behalf of their members. "We need to move quickly, and where we feel that we can be the lead in this, we're going to lead," Busky said. "...If it's not something that's going to provide significant ROI for our members in the short term, we just don't have the bandwidth to do it. So it's a little bit different than how we would approach collaborations and partnerships in the past."
Build a virtual environment that's conducive to conversation. "While pre-recording sessions often gets a bad rap," Matchbox Virtual co-founder and CEO Arianna Rehak said on an ASAE webcast last week, doing so allows speakers to engage actively in the conversation that is going on while attendees are watching their session. "The speakers love this by the way," she said. "They are seeing their content come to life." She also recommended chat animators who "create a positive conversational environment that signals to others that they can join. That can be as simple as being the first to say, 'Hey, really excited to be here and get started.' That will set the right tone."
Communicate your successes gracefully. Let your readers and sponsors know that the industry is turning to you for information - without gloating. "It’ll give your [sponsors] reassurance that their marketing spend is best placed with you, and it’ll promote your brand as a trusted industry source to new readers."