Be it recognition, awards or simply a mechanism to unearth and reach out to key segments of your audience, targeted programs can be hugely beneficial. It’s a classic win-win. Not only do they tell that audience that you’re listening to them, but they build a diverse roster of leaders, webinar/panel speakers, and event attendees—and can bring in sponsors.
Here are five successful, targeted programs across our Associations, Media & Publishing (AM&P) Network landscape that accomplish several objectives.
ASCD’s Emerging Leaders
ASCD, “a passionate community of life-changing educators,” has an Emerging Leaders program that features educators who have been in their field for 5-15 years and who have made an impact as leaders in their schools, districts and communities. Here’s the 2021 group.
Methodology: They are enrolled in the program for two years and invited to participate in multiple opportunities, including, when circumstances allow, attending the invitation-only Leader to Leader convening, writing for ASCD publications, and hosting the ASCD podcast. There are also avenues for leadership opportunities in the association. ASCD adds that “alumni from the program have become ASCD authors, faculty members and board members.”
“Elevating educational leadership is the heart of what we do at ASCD, and our emerging leaders exemplify leadership at its best,” ASCD CEO and Executive Director Ranjit Sidhu said. “These educators strengthen our community and our organization. We are excited to welcome our new class and look forward to working together in the years to come.”
Aging Media Network’s Future Leaders
Scroll down the Aging Media Network page of their Future Leaders Class of 2021 (sponsored by PointClickCare), and you’ll see an impressive array of names, faces and companies. The titles range from CEO and founder to VP of finance and accounting, chief design officer and real estate innovation manager to VP, people operations, senior consultant – outsourced agency management, and chief medical officer.
Strategy: “The Future Leaders program has provided us a way to connect with the next generation of leaders in the industry we cover,” George Yedinak, co-founder, executive vice president, Aging Media Network (an AM&P Network member), wrote to me. “It provides brand awareness across our publications and also provides our editorial team with new contacts that they can work with in the years to come.
“[The plan is] to certainly develop an alumni network that can meet at our events as a start. Our editorial teams are looking to build these relationships for content and stories that align with their goals. There are a number of ideas around the program on continuing to extend involvement of the current and past classes of leaders. We’ll take a break and get some feedback from all stakeholders and look to make those iterative improvements.”
CUES Advancing Women
“Information and inspiration for current and aspiring female credit union executives and those who support them.” That’s the tagline for the Credit Union Executive Society’s (CUES) quarterly publication, Advancing Women, which won a 2021 EXCEL gold award for General Excellence in Newsletters. Appearing on the site are articles—10 Strategies for Overcoming Impostor Syndrome, NextGen Know-How: Beware of Compare; videos—Solid Salary Negotiation Strategies for Female Leaders at All Levels; Making Space for Women on Boards; and podcasts—The Evolution to Modern Leadership, CUES Compensation and Salary Data Facilitates Good Decision-Making.
Some backstory: “In 2021, we added a guest editor program. The Advancing Women panel is just four people (one guest editor per issue). The reason we added the guest editor panel was to make sure the content reflected what was needed,” Theresa Witham, managing editor/publisher, CUES, wrote me. “We also started a similar publication for DEI last year, and I strongly believed we needed guest editors for each issue of the DEI newsletter [to increase diversity]… So since we decided to go the guest editor route [there], we thought it would also be a good idea to do the same for Advancing Women (and that was an area where members had been reaching out asking if they could be involved). A secondary benefit of the guest editors is that they can help us increase exposure to their wider networks. But the primary benefit sought was improved representation.”
American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) Talented Twelve
Each year, C&EN introduces you to a dozen diverse young scientists with their Talented Twelve issue. “The researchers are always engaged in world-changing work,” they write. “This year’s group is removing pollutants from water, transforming the immune system to fight cancer, and creating the next generation of chemical catalysts.”
A key event around the program. “One of my favorite events is on the day we have our symposium—hearing the TED-style talks of the Talented Twelve,” Bibiana Campos-Seijo, VP of C&EN Media Group and editor in chief, C&EN, American Chemical Society, said, recounting their 2019 fall meeting. “I got to the room and was talking to Paula Hammond”—head of MIT’s Chemical Engineering Department, a member of the C&EN advisory board and was guest editor for C&EN’s special Trailblazers issue last month—“and in walks Frances Arnold, the 2018 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and only the fifth female ever so honored.
“‘I know you didn’t invite me, but I’m here,’ she said,” Campos-Seijo continued, recalling her delight. “I think she stayed for two of the four hours. Someone asked her later, ‘Did you enjoy it?’ She said yes, and that she’s part of a foundation that gives awards and put forward one of the names of the Talented Twelve—and that person eventually won! So she was sourcing us.”
Putman’s Influential Women in Manufacturing
Despite being on hold this year after four great seasons, IWIM succeeded in many ways—celebrating key Putman Media customers, amplifying the voices of women in a field where they have been under-represented, creating a new speaker pool for podcasts and webinars, and offering advice to the next generation.
“I feel small when I look at all [these women have] been doing and all they do for their companies,” Erin Hallstrom, digital and content strategy director for Putman Media and IWIM’s guiding force said. “You can see how excited their companies are. I just get excited that someone enjoys it.”
Support from the top. “I am proud that Putman could play a role in shining a light on the extraordinary work being done by so many women in the manufacturing field,” Putman Media CEO John Cappelletti has said about IWIM. “Our hope is that their achievements will inspire other young women to join this dynamic industry and be a part of creating manufacturing’s exciting future.”
The program changed lives. “Not only the honorees, but our own,” Hallstrom wrote in a blog. “We saw the profound effects of amplifying women’s voices and connecting an alliance of women who were impacting the world in their manufacturing careers… IWIM was born out of a need to amplify and connect.”