Big Idea – William Pollak
President & CEO, ALM Media
With its sale to London-based Incisive Media expected to close this quarter, ALM Media shows no sign of slowing down in the months to come. ALM, which generated over $200 million in revenue last year, like a number of other media companies, is capitalizing on the green revolution, particularly in its commercial real estate media division.
The new "Go Green" initiative will include not only editorial content in the group’s print magazines, but also on its Web site and conferences. Partnerships with major organizations in the space are also underway.
Pollak says the effort is two-fold. "It really cuts both ways," he says. "We can not only report on what our market is doing but also support those efforts and encourage more of those efforts. Of course, we hope to sell conference seats and sponsorships and magazine and Web advertising, but it’s really to identify the brand with the overall green initiative."
The division has already created quarterly green supplements for Real Estate New York and a number of supplements appearing in Real Estate Forum, the division’s flagship title. The supplements will continue in 2008. ALM’s commercial real estate news Web site, Globe Street, will also feature a "Go Green" Web page dedicated to the green building universe.
"Go Green" will trickle into the group’s conferences, including The Real Share Conference Series, a program of 25 conferences held throughout the country. Special green building sessions will be added to the conference curriculum, which means new opportunities for sponsorship dollars. Real estate media has also launched an alliance with the U.S. Green Buildings Council and the Building Owners and Managers International Association, which will develop a number of green building information resources, including an editorial survey studying the market trends.
"From a branding point of view the commercial real estate publishing sector is crowded," says Pollak. "This allows us to differentiate ourselves and our brands by being forward-looking and being on the news relative to other [competitive] brands."
The idea capitalizes on the hot topic of sustainable development and green initiatives in the real estate market.
There is potential for the trend to cool down.
A new market segment and hot trend means new ad revenue streams via print and online deals and event sponsorships.
The commercial real estate industry is more likely to embrace incentive-based programs vs. legislation that requires private-sector buildings of a certain size to meet green standards. If green commercial real estate standards become required, the initiative will become futile.