Lou Ann Sabatier
CEO | MediaDC
We have three brands. They’re very distinct and they’re all in different life stages. Among the initiatives for next year is making sure we are addressing each of those brands with their specific needs. At MediaDC we’re not homogenous, we have very different brands so we don’t want to get caught up in trying to do the same thing across the portfolio.
The Weekly Standard is at the top of its game, but I want to put some new energy and initiatives behind it to make sure it can maintain its position at the head of the field. We put up a paywall 18 months ago and the initiative there is to push the learning curve on the digital meter.
Events are another big opportunity for us, but we want to do them very differently. We’re focusing on a dialog—for example, putting eight people in a room and broadcasting it on C-SPAN. It’s about smart content and we’re finding people who will fund that. The challenge sometimes is to boil it down. We’re in a market that is so overthought that people are sick of it. The challenge is to simplify things and if we stay true to that our value proposition is very strong.
We are also licensing business intelligence software. This is beyond big data. I can see, in real time, where my content is going the minute it leaves here, and I can tell you who’s tweeting it. When the Syria story broke, I could tell you who the top 100 tweeters and bloggers were. That allows us to come in with our own content and put it into their conversation.
The one thing I can say I’m doing globally across the brand is using business intelligence to put us in the conversation and measure its impact. It’s not just output. I am able to analyze the impact of how decisions and opinions and outcomes can be changed, and that is a big effort for us because we are a mission-driven company.