Event Marketer: Don’t be Desperate

Old-line retailers—desperate for sales—were criticized last month for deluging holiday shoppers with irrelevant emails.

Are you guilty of acting desperately, too?

Many event marketers are swamping attendees' in-boxes with vague offers of "must-attend" trade shows and conferences.

Attendees are growing angrier and more resistant by the day.

How can you tell you’re sending too much email?

Your opt-out rate.

If you see it start to climb abnormally, you can bet you’re sending subscribers too many emails.

One easy way to prevent opt-outs is personalization.

Personalization counteracts the impression you’re “spamming” subscribers.

Personalization also boosts response. Simply including the reader's name in the Subject line boosts open rates over 25%.

Crisis Management: Learn from Others’ Failures

Edward Segal, CAE, contributed today’s post. He helps publishers and associations generate publicity about their events and activities.

If you’re like most people, you’d rather learn from the failures of others than have people learn from your mistakes.  That’s especially true when it comes to crisis management.

There are plenty of examples of how organizations have stumbled or simply fell flat on their face when they found themselves in the public spotlight for all the wrong reasons.  But there are some good examples to emulate, too.

Here’s a look at both the good and bad examples, along with my observations about the lessons to be learned from how these organizations reacted to and handled a crisis.


In the aftermath of news reports that Apple had intentionally slowed some older iPhones down in order to save battery life, the company admitted that it had done just that, but said it had taken those steps out of concern for its customers. After lawsuits were filed against the company, Apple apologized and offered discounted replacement batteries for those who have certain older iPhones.

Lesson: Don’t hide bad news. Be transparent.


After confirming allegations of sexual abuse against Charlie Rose at CBS and Matt Lauder at NBC, the two networks moved quickly to end their relationships with both men.

Lesson: Move quickly. After you verify the facts, move as fast as you can to deal with the problem.

United Airlines

A video went viral that showed a passenger on a United Airlines flight being taken from his seat and dragged bleeding down the aisle. The airline initially made flimsy excuses for what happened. They eventually apologized for the incident.

Lesson: A picture is worth a thousands words. We live in a world where anyone with a cell phone camera can be reporter with their own international TV network. When a crisis hits the fan, you cannot take your time to respond to the obvious, or apologize for your role in the crisis. 


Mark Zuckerberg claimed that there was no way that Facebook could have been used to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. He later backtracked and said Facebook had identified thousands of ads and postings that were designed to sway the election. He has now said that his mission for 2018 is to fix the wide range of issues facing the company, including foreign interference on the social media platform. 

Lesson: Look before you leap. It’s dangerous to speak up without first thoroughly investigating the situation. 


In the aftermath of a series of food safety-related problems at its restaurants,, Chipotle announced it would temporarily close all of its 2,000 restaurants and retrain its staff.

Lesson: Show and tell. Demonstrate to the world what you are doing to make things right. 


Pepsi produced a television ad that made light of the Black Lives Matter movement and other protests. The ad was roundly criticized and immediately taken off the air. 

Lesson: It’s never a laughing matter. Don’t trivialize or make fun of issues that are important to people.

By keeping these crisis management lessons in mind, you can help ensure that there will be no reason for others to learn from your mistakes. 

Edward Segal is a crisis management and communications expert, PR consultant, spokesperson, trainer and former CEO of two trade associations. Edward offers one-day crisis management workshops he can bring to your organization. Reach him through his website at www.PublicRelations.com.

Your Best Membership Promotion? Your Magazine!

As every B2B publisher knows, your print magazine is your brand.

As Nancy O’Brien recently wrote in Niched Out, print magazines “come to life in the hands of our readers, pages turning, articles read, ads seen. They end up on desks, in lobbies and on coffee tables for all eyes to see. Our print publications were our first relationship with our audience and what developed their loyalty with our brand.”

The same can be said of many an association magazine: it’s the bedrock of your relationship with members—and your very best member-recruitment tool.

In fact, your magazine could be the key to your association’s future growth.

In his new book Killing Marketing, Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, calls the organization’s magazine “critical to CMI’s overall strategy.”

Without it, Pulizzi’s audience might not see content marketing worth their time—or buy anything from CMI.

“According to Content Marketing Institute internal company data,” Pulizzi writes, “our magic number of subscriptions is three. That means our most profitable customers, the ones that buy the most directly from us, are generally subscribed to at least three CMI programs.

“Readers might subscribe first to our email newsletter after reading our blog content. Then, they might sign up for one of our webinar series. Then, they may subscribe to our magazine, Chief Content Officer, and then, possibly, our This Old Marketing podcast.”

How are your leveraging your magazine?

If you'd like to kick around a few new ideas, please give us a call.

Bob & David James Picked to Promote Sustainability Conference

Fort Collins, Colorado-based Business Sector Media has chosen Bethesda, Maryland-based agency Bob & David James to promote its Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference (ELEMCON), to take place May 15-17, 2018, at the Marriott Denver Tech Center.

Unique in its field, the conference features case studies that help attendees come to grips with the ever-increasing interaction among energy, sustainability, and environmental professionals.

The majority of attendees comprise energy and sustainability executives from Fortune 500 companies, universities, and government agencies.

“We’re honored to serve as agency of record for the event,” says Bob James, president & chief storyteller, Bob & David James. “We can’t conceive of a more exciting and rewarding movement to champion. Customers and Wall Street look favorably on environmentally responsible companies—and so, I think, does Mother Nature.”

The 2018 edition of the Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference will be the event’s third.

Bob & David James will conduct a multi-channel marketing campaign designed to persuade alumni and prospects in the field to choose the conference over any other face-to-face event they might consider.

More information about the event is available at https://conference.environmentalleader.com.

About Business Sector Media

Fort Collins, Colorado-based Business Sector Media delivers industry-specific, business-to business news, research, insights, and information to decision-makers around the world. More information is available at www.bussinesssectormedia.com.

About Bob & David James

Bethesda, Maryland-based Bob & David James helps associations and publishers generate revenue. More information is available at www.bobanddavidjames.com.