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Interview: Now is also the time to work on your corporate culture

John Wilpers ist Schriftsteller, Herausgeber, Medienexperte und Referent der VDZ Akademie ONLINE und führt am 15. September in der WebSession durch das Thema “Innovations to succeed in the post-covid world”.  Im Interview sprachen wir mit ihm über seinen jährlich erscheinenden „Innovations in Magazines World Report“ und er gewährt erste Einblicke, was Sie bei seiner WebSession erwarten können.

Wilpers, your analysis and report emphasizes innovation in the post-Corona era. What do you suggest for the time in between to enable media companies to thrive?
Perhaps the single most important thing a media company can do to thrive in the COVID-19 world (and beyond!) is to pay especially close attention to their staff’s well-being.

The reason is simple: All the other “most-important-things” (reader revenue, ad revenue, content creation, new products, virtual events, etc.) ALL depend on the skills, drive, motivation, and mental well-being of your staff.

If you have never had a regular training program (and I don’t mean a periodic brown-bag lunch talk), now is the time to start. If you have never had regular one-on-one sessions with your sales and editorial staffs, now is the time to start. If you only have daily meetings but not long-range strategic planning sessions with your staff, now is the time to start. And in this working-from-home world, if your managers have never taken the time to check in individually with their staffs about how they’re doing (not their assignments), now is most definitely the time to start.

Now is also the time to work on your corporate culture: Is it employee-focused? Would your employees recommend your company to their friends? When you’re hiring, do you have an employee referral program? Do you have an active retention program? A mentorship program? Remember, it can cost 90-200% of a departing employee’s salary to replace that person. It also takes three years for a new hire to reach the productivity level of an internal hire and the new hire’s salary is often seven times the cost of hiring internally.

We’ll talk a lot about how to recruit, hire, train, and retain quality staff.

Without giving too much away, do you expect a fundamental shift in business models and monetization strategies for the next 2-3 years?
Yes, I envision

  • An acceleration of the shift from advertising to reader revenue that has already been sped up by the COVID-driven ad apocalypse. I foresee an increase not only in subscriptions, but also, and more importantly, in membership revenue as companies learn how to offer ever-more unique benefits to justify a higher price.
  • Unprecedented high returns in event revenue as COVID-19 vaccines open the flood gates, and people, desperate for REAL interactions, flock to in-person events
  • An explosive growth in podcast revenue as people return to commuting, giving podcasts back their unique hour or two time slot denied them by COVID-19
  • The continued increase in e-commerce sparked by people confined to their homes by the virus. Having become even more accustomed to instant gratification, they won’t be backing away.
  • A strong morphing of all media companies but B2B media companies in particular to becoming data companies as much as content companies. As these companies collect more data on their readers, they can leverage that data with their advertising clients, offering unprecedented and unmatched access to highly defined audiences

What can the participants look forward to in your online session?
Very few aphorisms; lots of proven innovations they can use.

I don’t believe in wasting anyone’s time with useless, hackneyed, valueless phrases used by too many speakers: “Fail fast”, “Innovate or die”, “Do more with less”, “Think outside the box”, “If it fails, just pivot”, etc.

I prefer to give you examples of proven innovations in areas of your operations that you can put to use immediately and anticipate a measurable impact on your bottom line, the quality of your content, your carbon footprint, the talents of your staff, etc.

In a rapid-fire presentation, we will review innovations in human capital, sustainability, content creativity, monetization models, podcasting, and print creativity.

Innovations to succeed in the post-covid world
Mit Medienexperte John Wilpers
Am 22. September, 15:00 – 16:00Uhr. Klicken Sie hier, um sich anzumelden.

VDZ Akademie Online
Mit der Anmeldung für das ONLINE-Angebot können Sie an allen Live-WebSessions 2020 teilnehmen. Außerdem steht Ihnen eine Auswahl an Video-on-Demand zur Verfügung. Klicken Sie hier für mehr Informationen.