New ASBPE Ethics Code Released

ASBPE has released its new code of ethics, “ASBPE Guidelines for Preferred Editorial Practices.”

The revised code is the product of a six-month review of ethical issues by an ethics committee formed for the purpose. The committee includes six ASBPE officers as well as Jeffrey Seglin, a business ethics expert who writes the New York Times Syndicate‚Äôs ethics column “The Right Thing.” The committee drew from numerous other ethics guides from journalism associations, B2B publishers, educators, and consultants. It also based the new code on the desires of ASBPE’s members, particularly as revealed in our ethics survey.

The new guidelines go into much greater detail than did the old guidelines, from November 2000. The latest guide also covers subjects not touched on by the earlier code, including graphics, research, trade shows, and contests.

Perhaps most important, the new guidelines advocate that B2B pubs publicize their ethics standards to internal staff, to readers, and to advertisers. Right now, very few business publications seem to publicize their standards outside their own companies. (As I mentioned in an earlier post, PC World is one of the few B2B pubs that does.)

The ethics committee will continue to monitor ethical issues and update the code as needed. The committee will also serve as a sounding board for editors who may raise ethical questions, and will continue ethics conversations though ASBPE’s online discussion forum (members only; login needed) and at conferences and chapter meetings. The committee’s contact information is here.

TechTarget and Reed Business Information Sign Content Deal

Here's an interesting announcement: TechTarget, the Needham, Mass.-based B2B publisher that made a big splash when it appeared on the scene back in 1999, has now signed a deal with Reed Business Information U.K. to provide content for Reed's

It especially grabbed my attention because Reed Business Information U.S. (formerly Cahners Business Information) owns some electronics titles and could be considered something of a competitor to TechTarget. In fact, most of the Reed Business Information’s U.S. electronics books are based in Waltham, Mass., not far from TechTarget. (Up until a few years ago, Boston was the Reed/Cahners headquarters in the U.S.; the headquarters are now in New York City.)

TechTarget’s markets are a bit different from the American Reed magazines’. TechTarget focuses largely on software IT, whereas Reed’s cover mainly electronics manufacturing and design. Still, it’s interesting to speculate whether there could be any implications in this deal for the Reed's U.S. division.

As it happens, TechTarget VP of Editorial Mark Schlack has just signed on as the speaker at the ASBPE Northeastern Region Awards Banquet in Boston.

Here's a short item from BtoB Online on the deal.

Folio: Report: Things Looking Up for Business Press

A recent report from Folio: says both revenue and profitability are on the way up for B2B publications.

Folio:’s survey of CEOs at business-to-business magazines looks at the state of B2B publishing. It asks where revenue will be coming from and what CEOs are planning for 2006 and beyond. The report says publishers are starting to see revenue “from what were just pie-in-the-sky opportunities a few years ago.” At the same time, though, print is far from dead:

Over the next year, publishers aren’t just expecting print to stabilize but many believe it will be a driving force at their companies. Sixty-nine percent of respondents say they expect increased revenue from new print advertisers, while 55 percent say they expect more revenue from existing print advertisers.
Some other survey highlights:
  • Print advertising now represents a smaller percentage of revenue, although it is still the largest source of revenue (62.6 percent in 2005).
  • Online revenue increased only slightly, from 5.1 percent to 6.3 percent.
  • 35% of the survey's respondents said online was their fastest growing revenue source, up from 34 percent in 2004.
  • 34% percent said print was their fastest growing revenue stream in 2005.
  • 44% of respondents sid they planned to develop a new ancillary service in 2006.
  • 29% percent said they expected to acquire another company.
  • 27% are planning to sell all or parts of their company this year.
The survey respondents expect overall revenues to improve by nearly 10 percent in 2006. In fact, close to 80 percent of said they expect revenue to be up in 2006, and 6 percent are predicting revenue will be up by 30 percent or more.

The article quotes Stephen Davis, vice president and group publisher of SRDS and chairman of the American Business Media Publisher’s Committee, as saying “The significant increase in profitability will likely result in the stronger players opening up their wallets a bit (via staffing, acquisition and/or new product development).”