- Executive Toolbox
- Career Center
- About Us
When Specialized Information Publishers Association decided to revamp our ages-old awards program, seeing Association TRENDS win a SIPAward was not at the top of our wish list. Though in hindsight, maybe it was, and we just didn’t realize it. Let me explain.
We started by crossing off the categories that really didn’t translate to our world anymore and added new categories that did, such as best use of video and best blog. Before this, we had almost all editorial categories, yet many of our members also excel on the marketing end, so we needed new categories there. We gave it all a new name, commissioned a new logo, drafted a new committee and spread the word.
What prompted this was an honest look at our revenues. In the past, we did pretty well by getting some major companies to pay out major dues, but those were different times. Now we’re an association geared to small and mid-sized companies (or divisions of large companies), either one- or two-person shops, or places of 25 to 150 employees. Dues from this kind of membership just aren’t going to be enough.
Enter the importance of nondues revenue. Our members are publishers who take a niche – mining safety, business valuation or Federal Drug Administration regulations, for instance – and cover the heck out of it via newsletters, online content, mobile content, databases, management reports, webinars, seminars and tradeshows. They come to SIPA for best practices in the creation, the selling and the delivery of that quality content. We devise ways to help them stand out, to be unique among all the information-givers out there – and to make it clear that this is content that deserves to be paid for.
Circle back to the awards: We saw this revamped program as a way to help our members stand tall in the crowd. Now, Association TRENDS will always have that SIPAwards first-place stamp to display. Also, we created a judging day when 15 prominent SIPA members gathered to discuss and judge all the entries. It was good networking but more so, the rigorous judging process added to the prestige of the awards. Foremost, the awards program is a great way to bring in nondues revenue. (Pictured, the TRENDS team: from left, marketing director Brittany Carter, managing editor E. Francisco Dalere, readership manager Maggie Kozlov and publisher Joel Poznansky.)
So I ask the question: Where are your nondues revenue going to come from? A certification program? E-books or white papers? A webinar series? It’s a very important question as we all move forward into these extremely competitive and frugal times. In hindsight, we really were looking for new ways to help Association TRENDS look good. It’s TRENDS job to put out great content and great products, and ours to help them shine. I think we both came out first. Details: www.sipaonline.com.
Salt is executive director of the SIPA. Contact him at email@example.com.