Audience Development in the Blood?

The opportunity to pass on skills to your offspring is a wonderful thing.

This summer my son Ryan will be working for us as a social media specialist. His time will be spent promoting our popular and free digital books and reports. In the spirit of practicing what we preach, Ryan will be using our daily blog and social media platforms to alert writers, editors, publishers, and audience development professionals to our presence. It’s possible that our existing staff might spend as much as 20 hours a week engaged in audience development. That level of effort gains us about 500 new subscribers per month. Over the next 90 days, we’ll discover whether doubling our efforts will double the number of new subscribers we generate.

Reaching out for help

Other than watching this little experiment, it’s quite possible that you’ll be hearing from Ryan over the coming weeks and months. Given the social nature of what we do, feel free to give him a hand in reaching his summer goals. As you might imagine, his compensation plan has a heavy performance component.

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Are you reading this at SIPA?

If you are, drop by our booth. Nothing would please me more than having the opportunity to introduce you to my son. In the spirit of equal billing, I should also note that Ryan’s mom will also be in attendance. Don’t bother checking for her under the name Nicholas, however. Although Gail still travels and teaches for us from time to time, her full-time gig is director of marketing for The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. She’s registered under her professional moniker, Gail Odeneal. If Ryan turns out to be an audience development ninja master, Gail deserves at least half the credit, from a genetic perspective.

A family affair

After the summer is over, Ryan will return to UMass Amherst to finish his double major in economics and management. Like most people his age, he has many passions and interests with sports at the head of the parade. He’s also one of the reasons I know as much about social media as I do. At one point, I asked Ryan if he thought my knowledge of all things online made me hip. “No Dad,” Ryan told me, “you are not hip.”

I knew I wasn’t, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

Looking forward to seeing you all at SIPA.


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