SIPA Member Profile: Dugan Takes Bully Pulpit for a Day

Bill Dugan, Vice President, StepByStepMarketing.com, Boston

What was your first job out of college and how did you get into this business?
My first job out of college was director of communications and membership programs for a trade association representing businesses using two-way radio systems. I was also editor of the monthly newsletter and became interested in journalism and marketing and how the two can work together.

Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road.
After becoming marketing director at Center for Science in the Public Interest, and publisher of “Nutrition Action Healthletter,” I recall in 1992 reviewing direct-mail results for a subscription test package I had written, “10 Foods You Should Never Eat.” I was astounded to see response rates from the test package that were nearly twice our control package—and it was then that I realized that language is an important component of business and life, the written and spoken word… and even body language. The power of language is often underestimated by many people.

In brief, describe your business/company?
StepByStepMarketing.com is an Internet-centric resource for owners and managers of small and emerging-stage businesses, offering tips, tools and techniques—lots of “how-to” methods (“don’t just tell me, show me!”)—for branding, marketing, sales and customer service.

What are two or three important concepts or rules that have helped you to succeed in business?
Trust your customers, trust your staff and trust your instincts.

What is the single-most successful thing that your company is doing now?
Webinars are working great for us. In our economically challenged times, business people seek affordable solutions for training, and Webinars are proving to be one of those solutions!

Do you see a trend or path that you have to lock onto for 2011?
Consumers and business professionals are becoming savvier about identifying things of value. When developing products and services, smart publishers should ensure that their products/services and their marketing convey value—it’s not just being cost-conscious that matters but discovering things of value.

What are the key benefits of SIPA membership for you and your team?
SIPA is an association of caring people who are always willing to share ideas and “lessons learned.” The successes and failures of fellow publishers are valuable guides for us.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Boston and grew up in Weymouth, Mass., the birthplace of Abigail Adams and about 15 miles south of Boston.

What college did you attend? Is there a moment from that time that stands out?
I attended The George Washington University, majoring in political science with a double minor in Spanish and Applied Statistics. I lived across the street from the old GWU Hospital, and in March 1981, my neighborhood was turned upside down for many weeks after President Reagan was shot outside the Washington Hilton, then treated at GWU Hospital. My college years were a time of great change for our country, and Washington was an exciting place to be.

Are you married? Do you have children?
I’m not currently married, but I live with my partner Jerry in Hingham, Mass. My son Jack is 25-years-old and lives in Raleigh, N.C.

What is your favorite hobby and how did it develop in your life?
My mother and father conveyed to me a love of politics and sports. I’m a big baseball fan (Red Sox, of course), and on St. Patrick’s Day this year, I leave for Fort Myers, Fla., for my annual Red Sox spring training trip.

Is there a book you recently read or movie you saw that you would recommend?
I finally finished David McCullough’s biography about Teddy Roosevelt, “Mornings on Horseback.” I’m an avid reader of biographies of American historical figures, past and present.

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Engage in more high-level discussions at the
SIPA’s Winter Publishers Roundtable Conference
Monday, March 14 (evening reception)
to Tuesday, March 15, 2011
McGraw-Hill Conference Center
1221 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York

But there are only a couple spots left at the table!
It should be an incredibly beneficial couple days.
So register now!

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