You can help shape the agenda for ASBPE’s next Ethics ‘Twitter Chat’

By Howard Rauch, Ethics Committee Chairman

What’s your biggest editorial ethics concern today?  Are you ready to speak out about it in a spurt of 140-character “Tweets” and get immediate reaction from your peers?  If so, you’ll definitely want to attend ASBPE’S next “Ethics Twitter Chat.”  Please mark the date and time:  June 28, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. [Edited to add: That’s Eastern time.]

Obviously there is much to discuss.  At the top of my list would be whether or not we’ve been successful in preserving the highest possible levels of editorial quality.  Another priority item that’s been glossed over in previous “Chat” sessions:  truth-in-hiring.  That is … how forthright have we been when describing promotional and financial outlooks to job applicants?

Some industry observers have issued alerts that advertisers will be pressing for more favorable editorial exposure in our digital content.  This possibility is an obvious sign that church/state disputes are still a regular event.  Do you agree?  How about freelancer relationships?  At one recent ASBPE LinkedIn discussion, anguish was expressed at how some editors were not playing fair with payment policies.  Is this process actually within your control or are you laboring under some budgetary mandate?

And the list goes on.  One promising difference in this year’s event is the level of participation by ethics committee members.  You’ll have the chance to seek input from several group editorial directors and two prominent educators.  Twitter Chat manager is Paul Heney, former ASBPE president and current TABPI president.

In advance of our session, I’d like to receive your suggestions concerning worthwhile agenda additions.  You can e-mail me: ethics.chair@editsol.com.  Or call (201) 569-7714.  I always welcome input from folks on the firing line.  And be sure to watch for more updates regarding our final agenda in the Ethics News Updates regularly posted at ASBPE’s LinkedIn site.

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RIP Reed Titles

By Tonie Auer
DFW Chapter President

By now, we’ve all heard the news about Reed Elsevier shuttering 23 B2B pubs. I don’t think anyone is all that shocked any more. But, what does this mean for B2B publishing? Folio has its take and former ASBPE president, current TABPI president and editorial director of Hotel & Motel Management magazine Paul Heney has his:

“I think that this is one more indication that the b2b publishing world is moving away from being dominated by a few enormous entities. Our future lies more with smaller companies that truly love and believe in the niche(s) that they serve. Many of the Reeds of the world became little more than faceless earning machines for venture capitalists. Now the pendulum is swinging back toward favoring individuals who are passionate about mining or pharmaceuticals or engineering. This also serves to remind each one of us that a brand may be 40 or 50 or 60 years old, but nothing is too big to fail if editors, publishers and salespeople ignore the shifts in media habits — both on the reader and the advertiser — that we’re seeing today.”

Fortunately a few titles have been saved and maybe some others will be resurrected as well. Time will tell.

TABPI Twitterfest

By Paul Heney

Last October, TABPI, ASBPE’s international partner organization, launched a creative new way to use Twitter. Deemed TABPI Twitterfest, this two-day event brought together a multitude of B2B editors from the U.S., the U.K., South Africa, Australia, and other countries, to chat about current editorial topics.

I’m happy to announce that the second TABPI Twitterfest will be held from Feb. 18-19.

What is TABPI Twitterfest? It’s similar to an open chatroom, where B2B editors across the globe can talk about issues and ask questions. We’ll be focusing on one primary topic for this TABPI Twitterfest: How do you manage the separation of church and state (editorial and sales) in new media? Do you treat online content as having the same rules? What about webinars? How about in-person roundtables or conferences? Are the rules the same, or is there more leeway off the printed page? If you feel pressure from the sales side, how do you counter it?

You can participate in several ways:

1. Join Twitter and post Tweets on Feb. 18 and 19. These 140-character messages must contain #tabpi in order to be a part of Tweetfest, and other editors around the world will see your Tweets.

2. Point your browser to www.tabpi.org, where we’ll have a widget with the live feed from Twitterfest. You can also go to search.twitter.com/search?q=tabpi and watch what other editors worldwide are talking about.

3. After watching online what others are saying, you can also join in on the conversation at any time. While we’re encouraging editors to talk about the main topic, you’re free to discuss other B2B topics that might come up.

The first Twitterfest featured nearly 200 Tweets from around the globe, and many more people simply watching the activity.

We understand that time zones across the globe make things a little more difficult for an event like this, hence the two-day window. All editors are encouraged to start Tweeting with #tabpi in the Tweet starting on Thursday morning, the 18th, when they arrive at work.

The main goal of TABPI Twitterfest is starting dialogue and exchanging ideas between editors in far-flung geographic areas. But a very important secondary goal is to give B2B editors an opportunity to try out Twitter in a friendly, non-threatening environment, to see how it works, to determine if there is anything that might translate to their publication’s industry.

As journalists, we should be willing to step outside our comfort zones and see what the readers of tomorrow are doing. I hope you’ll consider participating, and look forward to seeing your Tweets on Feb. 18.

Paul is the president of the TABPI and past president of the ASBPE.

FREE Design Challenge

By Paul Heney

I’m pleased to announce the launch of TABPI’s third Design Challenge, a free competition that we launched in 2008. The Challenge is meant to reward graphic creativity in the B2B industry, as well as serve as an educational exercise for other artists. Best of all, the overall winner receives $250, and his/her solution is highlighted on the TABPI website. We also include other selected entries, to illustrate the range of creativity and ideas.

This Design Challenge revolves around the puzzle of creating back to back monthly covers for a magazine that are related to the same story. How do you make a “Part I” and “Part II” cover that work together, but also stand alone? Complete details are at the TABPI website, http://www.tabpi.org/. Please pass this information on to your favorite designer, to let them exercise some creative muscle in the New Year.

At the website, you can also see winners of the first two Design Challenges, along with last year’s inaugural Editorial Challenge. We also list judges’ comments (positive and negative) for the winner and the honorable mentions. It’s a pretty fascinating exercise. I highly recommend checking it out.

The deadline for submitting Design Challenge solutions is Friday, Feb. 12.

Paul is the president of TABPI and past president of the ASBPE.

Tabbie Awards Call for Entries

By Paul J. Heney

We’ve been hearing about the global economy for years now, and it’s true that for many of our publications, international growth is a reality.

The other side of this is that we have to realize that we’re not the only players in the game. B2B publications have existed for years in far-flung markets, from Singapore to Sweden. And many of them are doing great things for the industries they serve.

That’s really the thrust behind the Tabbie Awards, now entering into its seventh year. As a partner to ASBPE’s venerable Azbee Awards, the Tabbies are somewhat akin to the Golden Globes — the place where all the world’s English-language publications come together and are judged on the same journalistic and design qualities.

Any English-language B2B publications — anywhere in the world — are eligible for the Tabbies. If your publication is in Chicago, but you just cover regional or national events in your industry, that’s fine — just as it is for a publication in Western Canada or on the North Island of New Zealand that’s just a regional b2b.

I think that people are looking back at 2009 as a tough year, but also as a measuring stick of sorts. I hope that someday, when I look back at my own career, I’ll be happy with how hard I worked through those tough months, and proud of the work I did then. I know other publications that also did some exceptional things last year, and I’m excited to see what stories are told in this year’s Tabbie Awards.

I invite you to visit TABPI and download our Call for Entries, which includes all the categories, instructions and the entry form. The deadline for submissions is March 3, which will be here before you know it.

While you’re there, I encourage you to take a look at the awards page, which has links to previous contests. We have PDFs of many of the winning stories and departments (as well as images of the design winners), and I think it’s really quite instructive to look at these brilliant examples of what b2b can be, whether it’s done in Atlanta or Auckland.

Paul is the president of TABPI and past president of the ASBPE.

TABPI Launches First Editorial Challenge

By Paul J. Heney
ASBPE Past President
TABPI President

Last year, TABPI sponsored our first Design Challenge. The goal of this program was to show how much creativity and talent there is in the b2b design world. We asked b2b designers and art directors to design a cover for the fictional magazine “Concrete Times,” around some demands from the editor and publisher. We had a great response, and the variety of designs was fantastic. We awarded a $250 prize to the winner, and also published other honorable mention submissions at http://www.tabpi.org/designchallenge.htm. In fact, we had so much fun with the Challenge, that we repeated it earlier this year, with even better results and increased participation. In fact, the day we announced results in both 2008 and 2009, we recorded some of the largest number of unique visitors to our website ever!

In the spirit of bringing editors into the mix, we’ve just announced our first TABPI Editorial Challenge, at http://www.tabpi.org/editorialchallenge.htm. The $250 first place prize still applies, but now b2b editors are encouraged to write a headline, deck and lede for a story that only has so-so information. We provide you with a partial interview, a poorly written press release, and a bunch of dull quotes. Use your creative spark to turn this story—which has the potential to be a stinker—into something fresh. The deadline is May 4th, and we’d love to have your participation!

Show the World Your Work

By Paul Heney

It’s not too late to get involved in the 2009 Tabbies, and show the whole world that fantastic work that you and your team did in 2008. The international competition, supported by groups as varied as ASBPE and the Magazine Publishers Association of New Zealand, had more than 700 entries last year, and is open to all English language b2b publications, whether in the U.S. or abroad. Magazines are not required to belong to any specific association or group to be eligible.

I’ve learned so much in the five previous Tabbie competitions, and have been amazed at the talent in the b2b world, both in the U.S. and around the globe. We’ve had smaller magazines from smaller countries win huge awards, and have been able to start some dialogues between regions of the world. Please take a look at some of our past winners on the http://www.tabpi.org/ website, I think you’ll be impressed. For the vast majority of them, you can click on the entry and see a larger jpeg image or a PDF of the winner. So, when you’re thinking of what might be a potential winner in your arsenal of work, you can see how it stacks up to other entrants. This year’s deadline is March 17th.

If you have any questions about the Tabbies, please drop me an email, I’ll be happy to assist.

Paul J. Heney is editorial director for Questex Media’s Hotel Group, which includes Hotel & Motel Management, Hotel Design, and Luxury Hotelier. A member of the ASBPE Cleveland Chapter board, Heney served as national president of ASPBE from 1999-2003. He is also president of TABPI, an international b2b think tank that promotes b2b journalism and professionalism. He can be emailed at pheney@questex.com.