Good riddance for 2020. Fires, COVID-19, Tiger King (sorry, I just couldn't with that series).
A year ago, when it looked like e The pandemic was indeed 'one thing' and was going to become home for the foreseeable future, we decided to curl up and work on making SEJ a better place for our community.
We have seen that marketers screw upneeded to make sense of this unexpected new paradigm, and it was necessary to determine where and how to quickly pivot. (Talk about moving the cheese; the coronavirus aerosolized it and teleported it to a parallel dimension.)
Our COVID-19 counterpunch
To help marketers face the new normal, we launched our first virtual conference for digital marketers in June 2020.
With three months notice (pffft how hard could that be?), we kind of ran a full day event with 10 hours of content, 15 AMAZING speakers a showroom, virtual networking, health sessions and well-being, and even an after-party with Lily Ray The DJing… attracting more than 10,000 participants .
If it sounds like I'm bragging, it's BECAUSE I AM. It was a huge accomplishment… and pushed us all to our limits.
Tried to joke with our brand new event Director Delisa, "Well, " that doesn't kill us ", alright ?? " That doesn't happen. did not go as well as I thought.
We then started recruiting to meet the public demand for top notch marketing strategy and breaking news.
Existing veterans have moved on to new roles. I have reorganized the flowchart so that it is more distributed.
These changes have strengthened our writing, marketing, sales and design teams. Two team members even went the extra mile and had babies! 👶👶
It was quite a change forr our longtime team members who had worked together for years. A big change.
No Pain, no gain…
With growth came the inevitable growing pains.
I kept remembering that old Bible paraphrase on the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.
I realized that I needed to take a critical look at our infrastructure, culture and management to identify what we had gone beyond (or were going to) and facilitate a transformation.
Frankly this has been an exciting challenge - one of the best of my career.
A random example: our main medium for years of communication was email. As we added new hires, the usual email snowstorm turned into a white veil and we began to regularly check out our inboxes.we.
So we started using Slack. After a few months, our inboxes calmed down to a more manageable low roar.
Additionally, communication seems to have actually increased (by my unscientific measure).
Love that the team has been able to stay on topic in Slack channels, so I can easily search and browse threads, and stay up to date without adding to the 38 633 unre from my inbox. e-mails .
Bonus: We have fun channels like # sej-animal-bros to show off our furry officers!
" Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week "
On a related note, we were losing track of assignments and deadlines as we used email as well as an outdated project management system to communicate business.ectations.
So we adopted Asana , and I personally became addicted to it.
I'm sure people are fed up with me s aying / messaging / emailing "Can you attribute this in Asana?
But that's where it currently resides my real brain, so if you want me to do something put it in Asana.
We've also started to tackle time management . Our regular meetings , on the calendar for years, were becoming obsolete and less relevant to the growing guest list.
Meanwhile, everyone also knows that I hate meetings. I prefer to keep putting on my computer all the time.
I want to learn about the latest trends in publishing, think about how I procrastinate on another presentation, and admire my own well-crafted emails (am I the only one browsing my own folder Sent? N 'importe who?) while intermittently running into the kitchen to refill my coffee.
Meetings force me to sit still and pay attention to a topic that I may have
Eventually, I realized that the reason I hated meetings was because the meetings I self-organized were getting stale and less relevant to me and everyone else.
So I asked the project management team to study a series of HBR ebooks High Performance Teams ”with me. It includes a fantastic short read on the importance of meetings. The light bulb went on…
As a result, I tore up the schedule. We have revisited every meeting, from our meetings to everyone to our interlocutors, and we have either offered a justification for their existence or we have destroyed them.
For the remaining meetings, we havestarted to become more intentional about their purpose and who was invited.
What was our ideal outcome for the end of the meeting?
Did each person invited have a role? Did they understand what it was?
Are we engaging participants and encouraging participation? Are we correcting the course when a meeting starts to unfold or unfolds in a rabbit hole?
As a result, some of the meetings I have attended recently have been some of the best in recent memory. They had measurable results and decisions, participants were engaged and attentive.
I NOW LOVE MEETINGS. Go figure it out.
As I write this post, it reminds me that I am very proud of SEJ's most valuable resource: our people.
We collaborate. We love experimentation. We are here for a spirit of believetraining and lifelong learning.
I would like to show new team members, as well as those who have taken on new roles.
Here are the new people we have added to our pirate ship:
Delisa Johnson is our Event Manager - the shining spirit behind our eSummit virtual conference. 😉
She is about to celebrate her first birthdayre ersary with SEJ this year!
Foodie at heart, Delisa co-founded a vegan marshmallow company called Funky Mello in Austin, Texas. It's a fun change of pace from his previous marketing roles at giant tech companies like OpenText and HP.
Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, hiking and being cuddled with Maci, her mini schnaupin (schnauzer pinscher mix).
Christina Robichaux is a project manager and has worked for the company since October 2020.
She is responsible for the project management of the team editorial, SEJ Show and marketing initiatives.
Christina loves going on adventures and playing outside with her two wacky boxers. Christina lives just outside of Austin, Texas and can't wait to go to concerts again.
Abby Villarica is our editorial assistant .
Besides editing and preparing articles for publication, she coordinates with contributors and ensures that editorial processes run smoothly.
Before SEJ, she worked as a freelance (writing, content creation and administrative roles) while being a housewife and mother to her 2 children and her furry baby Chihuahua.
In her spare time, cooking is her domain - cooking and creating dishes for her family and friends.
Miranda Miller joined SEJ as Editorial Director in January 2021.
She is responsible for managing our excellent network of expert contributors and works with Editor-in-Chief Danny Goodwin on everything editorial and content-related.
Miranda has been in marketing for 15 years and runs a local marketing agency as well as 'a business creation agency that works with brands such as Rio SEO, Trailer Bridge, Binary Fountain and GlobalLogic.
Part-time digital nomad, she has a base with her husband, her two teenage sons, two shepherds and two parakeets in Georgian Bay, Canada. She can't wait for the s to reopen so she can get back on the road.
Robin "RJ " Biong is our graphic designer based in QC in the Philippines!
Hired in October 2020, he previously worked for creative companies McCann & TCCP & M, both of which have a wide variety of well-known clients.
He loves hanging out with a cup of coffee and traveling with friends.
Here are the people who have taken on new roles:
Angel Ninofranco is the content manager of Search Engine Journal and has been with the company since 2017.
She is responsible for managing the e-mail marketing initiatives. Prior to moving to her current role, Angel was previously SEJ Project Editor - in charge of writing article contributions for a group of over 100 industry experts, as well as managing webinars, eBooks and podcasts .
Angel lives in the Bico areal in the Philippines with her husband, Rey, and six-year-old daughter, Rhean Asha.
Anna Crowe is the ' Assistant Editor of Search Engine Journal and has worked for the company for 5 years.
Anna manages ebooks and contributes editorial activities. Previously she was in charge of SEJ's email marketing.
Anna also runs her own consulting agency where she has worked with global brands such ase Mailboat Records, IHG, Marriott, McDonald 's, Neil Patel, Kissmetrics and many more. She also manages Content, SEO, Email, PR and Social Strategies as the Content and SEO Manager at Leadfeeder.
Anna lives in sunny Florida with her husband Jake and her two dogs, Haven (basset hound), and Bubba (boxer / lab). She loves burritos and puppies (in that order).
Shelley Walsh joined the SEJ family in May 2020.
Originally responsible for email communications, she has since moved to special content projects for SEJ. Sounds mysterious, doesn't it? Stay tuned to find out what Shelley is working on.
Shelley has been a con artist for over 20 rs years, working in illustration, design, marketing, magazine publishing, starting a textile design business, a greeting card publishing company and drop shipping company.
Eventually, she fell in love with the Internet and founded ShellShock Content Marketing 10 years ago, producing content campaigns for major brands and a content strategy consulting firm.
Shelley lives in the UK and her joys in life are swimming, hiking the hills and reading. Ela tambem esta aprendendo in falar Português.
I think I could write regularly about SEJ 's journey.
The team worked on defining and refining our brand, about our culture and the value we bring to advertisers and our audiences.
We have big dreams and big plans baby. The transformation is just beginning.
I suspect it will be a bumpy and exhilarating race. I will be as transparent as possible about results and failures.
I would love your comments on this post and what you would like to see in the next one: contacted me on Twitter !