Author: Charli K. Matthews
Spring is a time of renewal, and I always plan time to reflect on the past and look at growth opportunities for the future. With a powerhouse team on mission to connect the pump systems community, this is truly a special year for our media brand! You will notice that we have combined all the platforms into one site Empowering Pumps & Equipment on our flagship EmpoweringPumps.com. With June 20th, 2018 marking Empowering Brands 7th year in business as a digital media and marketing services company, we have some exciting plans to share. We are going to print a copy of the most engaging online content. YES, PRINT!
Reflecting on the Past
I have been told I helped bridge the gap between print and digital media… or between traditional and contemporary “new” media. Over the years, I have taken pride in that and been quite content leading the way; educating our industry on best practices in social media, content marketing, and digital advertising while focusing on my mission to connect the industry via #PumpTalk and #EmpoweringConnections. As we engage at industry events, I have noticed that some are still not set up to embrace social media and have limited opportunities for live engagement. I have personally watched someone who didn’t actively use social media channels frustrated that they were missing out on our coverage. As I stopped and tried to help them, I thought, ‘How can I reach these people who are still not using digital media?’ This is part of the reason we are having a marketing and social media training at Pump Summit on June 25th – to continue to educate the industry!
When I am asked about our offerings and hear, “so you are only digital.” I proudly answer YES… It is NOW! and it is the way of the FUTURE! I am so amazed at the great friends we have made through social media and the deeper understanding of our audience though these channels… But still, friends ask if I ever think of offering a print edition. I had always answered “NO”. I was not interested in using print to reach my audience.
The fact of the matter is… I wasn’t listening. I had been following my own agenda and I had not been listening to the people who aren’t ready for digital. I realized this after a couple things happened. Stay with me as I explain…
As with most great movements, there is often a frustration with the ‘status quo’. In perfect Charli style, I expressed some elements of my frustrations during a meeting last fall. To my surprise, I received this response, “You were the perfect person for this time and place. You are a pioneer. No one grasped social media and the new emerging ways of communicating like you have. You saw the future and with amazing passion dragged us along. One quote from Thomas Edison certainly applies to you, Charli, – “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something!“”
While this touched my heart deeply, I found myself sitting in a room feeling 10 years ahead and not understanding how we were going to improve, especially with limited access to educate. As I listened to an Economist talk about how the ‘Baby Boomers’ would be in control for the next 10 years, while GenX and Millennials are trying to innovate, I thought I must figure this out now…I must help us communicate and bridge the gap across the 5 generations currently working in the Pump Industry!
Thankfully, I could reset and realize we are just talking about reaching the audience where they are! This has always been our mission… The Right Content, To the Right Audience, At the Right Time! It was with the help of the book Change Intelligence, and I understood. I read that people who “Lead Change from their Head” often are strategic, futuristic, purpose-oriented, inspirational, and big-picture visionaries. I thought yes… this is me! Then, the book offered some “developmental opportunities”…. You know, what they need to work on! This is what changed my perspective! It stated: “May leave others behind wanting to move sooner than people are ready for.”
Yes, you can see it now too, right! Charli is dragging some kicking and screaming into the digital world.
Thankfully, we are reaching much of the industry online, but to the people who prefer to hold paper instead of their smart phones, we had left them behind! Now, we are listening! Now, we are going to bridge this gap!
This concept of integrating digital and print media started at a conference where one of my favorite end users expressed interest in receiving a print copy of Empowering Pumps & Equipment content. At first, I said “No”, then joked I’ll print you an article and mail it to you..lbut the more I thought about it, the more I realized that making available a print edition of Empowering Pumps & Equipment would help the industry embrace digital media. They will be able to see its value before committing to learning or using it.
So, we WILL PRINT a Quarterly copy of Empowering Pumps & Equipment combined with top digital engagement spotlights and traditional knowledge pieces – staying in line with our company culture. It will be INNOVATIVE and it will be FUN! We will use this printed version to connect manufacturers to engineers and end users, inform the industry on the latest happenings, and educate those who prefer a printed copy on how to engage with the pump and equipment community online. So next time they are ready to post an industry-influencing tweet, they will know exactly what it looks like and how effective it can be.
If you are interested in participating or learning more, send me an email. It’s going to be fun!
I welcome any feedback.