Hopefully, you got an email on St. Patrick’s Day announcing the call for papers for ASBPE’s annual conference this summer in New York. Maybe you thought “Call for papers? That sounds very professorial and I’m just an editor.”
You are probably an innovator, an inventor, a discoverer of things other editors want to know. I say “probably” even though I don’t know each of you, because most editors these days have no choice but to innovate, invent and discover. Almost all media have had to redefine their missions, methods and audiences in recent years, and we are a long way from that being over, if ever. And who is it that gets to do that?
Us. Unless you work somewhere that has a Media Genius on the masthead, or a direct line to a deity knowledgeable about publishing, the task falls to us keep the canoe moving down the creek with the smallest of paddles through the rockiest of rapids.
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we typed on copy paper and ran slicks through waxers, when cutting and pasting involved X-Acto knives and rollers, B2B could sometimes be a much more sedate place. I worked on monthlies that had most of their issues repeat every year: the Giants issue, the Big Conference issue, the Best New Products issue, and so on. You may still do some of that, but now you also have to figure out which part of the print version goes online (if you even have a print version), what’s unique online, how to create a slideshow from it, maybe a podcast, what are we going to tweet and, well, you know the list never seems to end but it surely does change.
If you come to the ASBPE conference, you will hear a lot from people who have found a better way, who have a better idea, and that’s great – that’s why you come. But maybe you’ll also be sitting in a certain session and have a moment when you think “Hey, I could have given this talk.”
And maybe it would have been even better. And you would have offset much of the cost of attending and had as much as 60 minutes of fame by giving it.
So take a moment and consider projects you’ve done, stories you’ve written, ethical dilemmas that you’ve solved. And ask yourself if other B2B editors would want to know that. It doesn’t have to be a cure for cancer or the way to world peace. But if it’s useful, practical, innovative, and would help move our profession forward, we want to hear from you. More specifically, Warren Hersch, our Education Committee chair, would like to hear from you by April 17. Email him at email@example.com.