Company Culture Innovation: An Interview with CIO Don Harkey

Chief Innovation Officer Don Harkey shares his insights on company culture.

Recruiting, hiring and managing the right sales team can be tough and time-consuming!

But it doesn’t have to be. Yes, sales teams work in high pressure environments. And sometimes the competitiveness leads to backbiting. Then there’s that “lone wolf” type–intent on only commissions–exclusive of their colleagues, the company’s mission and customer service.

We interviewed Don Harkey, Chief Innovation Officer at People Centric Consulting Group, to learn more about how to build a culture that rewards teamwork, works to common goals, and maximizes recognition of long-term customer development. [Read more…]

How Welcome Home RGV Quadrupled Its Publishing Frequency – Haywire Turned Hallelujah!

Isn’t it wonderful to see a niche publication thrive and flourish? If a publication is amping up its publishing frequency, then it must be doing something right.whwtweekly_issue15feb3_issuu_0001

As it turns out, Welcome Home RGV, which caters to “Winter Texans” in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, has a very engaged reader base. This regional niche publication went from monthly to weekly when it realized its leisure-hungry audience needs its social event calendar and news stories updated constantly – or at least far more frequently.

As romantic as this sounds, big changes aren’t easy. Getting from point A to point B can be an operational nightmare. After all, a monthly to weekly change theoretically equates to quadruple workload. Unless you plan on growing your staff four times larger, this can equate to a quadruple dose of stress.

Nevertheless, Welcome Home RGV’s President Kristi Collier had a plan: [Read more…]

Everyone Needs to be Pulling On the Same Rope at Your Niche Media Company!


Appreciating other depts beyond your own will propel your team to new heights!

What the heck do I mean? Many of you know that I’m a huge SF Giants fan. In the past year (in case, ahem, you didn’t know the Giants won the World Series last year) I have often heard the manager and players talk about “pulling on the same rope.” Sure, it’s a cliche, but it’s also an important concept for managing your media team.

At your media company, you’ve got lots of people doing different jobs. You have staff in ad sales, editorial, print and digital production, audience development and management. Each department of your company can work as a separate team with its own agenda and goals or all departments can all work as one team with single purpose.

Which scenario represents what happens at your organization? Be honest! [Read more…]

Selling Your Media Company? Get Your Team On Board to Maximize Value!


Thinking about selling your media business? Here’s some sound advice from Media Financial Guru Michael Alcamo.

Considering a sale of your niche media business, but not sure how to get your highest and best price – while also keeping your team focused on growth?  We recently consulted Michael Alcamo, President of media investment firm M.C. Alcamo & Co., Inc. and a popular speaker at our Niche Media conferences.

Alcamo says he explores the ways that an owner can think 12-18 months ahead, and put the building blocks in place for a successful sale at a high valuation. “We often talk with owner in depth about the Six Keys so they can achieve the highest and best valuation.”

Here are Michael Alcamo’s 6 Keys to Your Best Valuation:

1) Employee talent

2) Operations

3) Financials

4) Products

5) All-important market perceptions

6) The components of valuation

In this post, we are going to address Key #1, Employee Talent:

How Do I Talk to My Employees About a Sale?  [Read more…]

Niche Magazine CEOs Can Lead with Fun!

We all work together at our niche media company for 8, 12, 14 hours a day.  Right?  Why not make it fun?  I’m a firm believer that the more fun you have, the more

Niche Media's Grand Poobah Carl landau

Niche Fun is serious business – happy employees are more productive and creative!

efficient and hard-working your team will be.  Plus it inspires creativity and helps with employee retention. Research proves this out!

When I actually worked for a living (pre-Niche Event Nation/Niche Media), I had a magazine publishing company called Niche Publications. We published 3 magazines and held 1 national event. We had a staff of about 15 people. We worked a lot, had a ton of fun and made a lot of money. Part of the secret was building a fun work environment.

Here are just a few “fun” ideas to keep your team inspired… [Read more…]

Financials: Know Your Revenue Per Employee? You Should!


Revenue per employee is a key indicator of the financial health of your business.

Fan gush: We think Jim Zielinski, a Niche Magazine Conference contributor, is a cost cutting strategy expert. In the first post of this series, Jim told us about ways to measure your company.   He knows solid, practical ways to develop cost-reduction strategies for niche magazines. What to do first?  You need to evaluate a key revenue measurement for your magazine–revenue per employee.

“Revenue per employee is the most key basic measure because it fundamentally incorporates the entire P&L (Profit and Loss) in one number.  In media businesses, the staff payroll and related expenses probably account for perhaps 60% to 65% of total expenses,” Jim tells us.

If revenues per employee are too low then your staff expenses will quickly destroy your profitability. How low is too low? [Read more…]