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Heard at the 2010 Summit & Expo

Lynn Keillor

The MMPA Summit & Expo attracted publishing enthusiasts from students to top-level professionals. Tracks offered focused on the specific areas of circulation, design, editorial and sales – while some participants stuck within their specialty, others moved between tracks depending on their interest.

Jill Anderson, circulation director for Affinity Powersports Media

Jill Anderson attended all of the meetings in the circulation track, and came back to the office with several check-boxes on her to-do list for social media, marketing and promotions.

“As a novice in social media, I went to the Summit hoping to get a better understanding of its different avenues,” Anderson said. She got that from Joe Pulizzi’s session on “Going Social Media Kicking and Screaming.” She said she can see the possibilities for blogs as enhancements.

Aileen Hough and Liz Bredeson, presenters in “50 Ways To Cut Expenses and Increase Revenue in the Audience Development Arena,” promised participants that they’d get at least five new ideas. “I got my five,” Anderson said. The ideas included including non-traditional circulation people – such as a tech-oriented person or a marketing expert – on the circulation team.

Jeremy Weiland, circulation director for Tiger Oak Publications

Two sessions resonated with Jeremy Weiland, and for two different reasons.

He found the Audience Development session, lead by Rebecca Sterner and Hervey Evans, important from an organizational and strategic perspective.

“Anyone involved in the publishing endeavor does best when they have an understanding of the total enterprise. Grappling with how to integrate web and event audiences into our print audiences is not a natural step,” he said. “For example, generating an e-mail campaign to create web traffic is not something most circulators are hard-wired to do, but it’s what is being asked of us.”

He also found value in the social media primer by Joe Pulizzi. “This is just one piece of the total pie. As much as I learned from his presentation about using social networking to create audience, it still has to be reconciled with the demands of overall source mix and the finite resources of any publishing endeavor,” Weiland said. “The two most important things: First was the “how” of creating followers. The second was understanding the requisite resources to be effective.”

Abbey Fitzgerald, graphic designer for ABDO Publishing

Learning new forms of media also applies to design staff, which was what Learning new forms of media also applies to design staff, which was what Abbey Fitzgerald wanted to gain from the creative sessions. She was particularly interested in learning about iPad applications and how to take things digital.

Her employer is in the process of converting books to digital formats, and she found talks on turning static design into dynamic presentation with movement.

Morgan Mercer, journalism student, University of Minnesota

Morgan Mercer was one of the participants with a “STUDENT” ribbon on her nametag. Her summer magazine internship had recently fallen through, and Mercer had her hustle on, trying to find a Plan B. She came armed with business cards and clips, and made a point to work the room.

While much of the social media and web focus was a repeat of what she’s learning in school, she enjoyed the Summit overall. “I enjoyed the effort the MMPA went to in finding higher-profile speakers,” she said.

She didn’t walk away with an internship, but said it was a good start to making contacts and building a network.

“It would have been great if there had been a better way to track down the people I wanted to talk to,” she said. “I literally had to stalk a woman I thought worked at Minneapolis-Saint Paul Mag to try and find an opportunity to talk to her!”

Craig Gustafson, freelance writer and editor

Craig Gustafson is a newcomer to the freelance world and was at the Summit for education, networking and, ultimately, employment opportunities. “It’s an opportunity to get away from the grind and gather information on what’s going on in the publishing world,” he said.

After sitting in on two editorial sessions on websites by Aileen Gallagher, he said he’d learned new strategies for integrating web and print content. “For the things I already knew, it gives me confidence that I’m going in the right direction,” he said. “It also gives me the confidence to go up to the next level.”

Terry O’Neill, editor of Powder and Bulk Engineering, CSC Publishing

When Joe Pulizzi’s book, Get Content, Get Customers was announced as a door prize, Terry O’Neill said, “I want that!”

Lucky for her, the emcee called her name.

“I really wanted to learn how to implement social media to increase our readership,” she said. Her co-workers can count on a meeting to talk about what O’Neill learned. She hopes to initiate some online integration between the publisher’s six magazines.

“I’m re-motivated to do more reading and experimenting,” she said.

Lynn Keillor is a freelance editor and writer.