Mary Slepicka: Bridging the Digital Skills Training Gap


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Slide presentation from ASBPE's June 3, 2010 webinar. Mary Slepicka, group content director for Advanstar Communications' Powersports group, tells how she learned digital best practices.

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Mary Slepicka: Bridging the Digital Skills Training Gap

  1. 1. Cross-Communication is Key<br />Obtaining digital skills training in a large corporate media environment – or, how to find out what the other guys are doing!<br />-- Mary Slepicka, Group Content Director – PowersportsAdvanstar Communications Inc.<br />Contact:<br />
  2. 2. Digital Skills Training<br />Large Corporate Media Environment<br />You THINK you’re in a communications company…?<br />B2B Editors still function in silos – by market, by geographic region:<br />Advanstar Communications (example)<br /><ul><li>Healthcare/Modern Medicine (East Coast/Mid Atlantic)
  3. 3. Automotive (Chicago/Cleveland)
  4. 4. Veterinary (Kansas)
  5. 5. Powersports (Southern California)</li></ul>Budgetary constraints have forced many large B2B media companies to cut annual nationwide or regional editorial meetings, seminars and training programs. In some cases, they’ve cut corporate-wide newsletters and briefings.<br />Everyone is left to their own devices, at least in the short term. This calls for a GRASSROOTS effort!<br />
  6. 6. Digital Skills Training<br />Large Corporate Media Environment<br />PRIORITY ONE!<br />Find the content directors, e-media editors, and web editors for the other media divisions…and network, network, network.<br /><ul><li> Set up a Yahoo! Group or an intranet working group (if available)
  7. 7. Establish monthly conference calls to determine gaps in skills training and the types of materials you can make available to established editors and writers, new hires (don’t laugh!) and freelancers.
  8. 8. If you can get the attention of one of the web designers or developers at your company, ask if he/she would mentor you for a half-day on a Saturday in exchange for a nice lunch or dinner.
  9. 9. Make “cheat sheets” and compile them into notebooks for each editorial staff member. Offer PDF guidelines for freelancers.
  10. 10. Think outside the editorial realm – network with your marketing staff for additional tips on SEO, writing subject lines for e-newsletters, and deciphering web metrics.</li></li></ul><li>Digital Skills Training<br />Large Corporate Media Environment<br />Priority Two!<br />Recognize that EVERYTHING is useful – and use EVERYTHING.<br /><ul><li>Regularly browse through your SISTER websites – and repurpose what they do for your own properties.
  11. 11. Check out your corporate Intranet for templates… guidance documents…even old online training programs
  12. 12. Weekly editorial meetings: set aside time for editors to share PROBLEMS and SOLUTIONS.
  13. 13. Be prepared to turn your copy flow management process UPSIDE DOWN (web first, print second)
  14. 14. Can’t afford training? You can afford $25 webinars from ASBPE, FREE brown-bag lunches with your team, FREE educational materials on websites (and some greattraining book deals on
  15. 15. Document your new processes, your new templates, your new keystrokes and shortcuts.
  16. 16. Practice…practice…practice!</li>