iMA 2013: Collaboration and Public Service

by Marla Krueger, PBS Digital

UT Mariachi at iMA
The background of Austin’s pre-SXSW hum and whir set the stage for a solid two days of public media collaboration at this year’s Integrated Media Association Conference (iMA). The iMA theme was “Keeping the Focus on Public Service.” With endless ways to deliver our content, we need to clear the noise and make tactical and strategic decisions that best serve our communities.

How did this theme develop during the two-day conference? Here are a few of the highlights.

To start, a few buzzwords at iMA 2013 included mobile, responsive design, online video, social TV, young professionals, brisket, queso, analytics, and multiple screens.  

The conference kicked off with Kristin Calhoun, a PBS alumna, who introduced the Public Media Platform (PMP), a collaborative, 4-year initiative that aims to revolutionize public media distribution. Partners for this initiative include NPR, PBS, PRI, American Public Media, and the Public Radio Exchange.   Be on the lookout for more PMP information soon.

Other PBS infused sessions included:  

Non-Broadcast Video Panel
Non-Broadcast Video for Broadcasters  (Audio)  Moderated by Matthew Graham, from PBS Digital Studios, this panel session looked at  how posting full-length broadcast video to the Web is a good start and how stations make the most of video as a storytelling tool. Panel speakers included Sara Robertson from KLRU-Austin and Pat Yack from Alaska Public Telecommunications. Both stations have made great strides in bringing visitors to their web productions, while looking to their community to help produce these web originals.

The Evolution of a Mobile Strategy (Audio) This session brought together Max Duke (PBS), Colleen Wilson (KQED), Ed Reggi (Nine Network), Tiffany Campbell (WBUR), and Dan Greenberg (WNET) to discuss  from how their mobile strategies have evolved, adapted and survived since they last presented two years ago.

Defining Success and Strategic Investment in new Social Media Channels (Audio) Where should Public Media spend its limited resources when it comes to Social Media? Panelists included Kate Myers (NPR), Libby Peterek (KLRU), and Ian Hill (KQED), who all provided great success stories and best practices for social media.

There Is No Easy Button (Audio) Melanie Phung and Dan Haggerty (PBS Digital) walked us through a case study with Brent Slane (Ozarks Public Television) that presented  tools and tactics to help improve your web presence and  community reach with limited resources.

PBS Digital Booth at iMA
On the second day of the conference, the University of Texas Mariachi ushered us in to the keynotes from OVEE Social TV, and AOL’s Digital Prophet, David Shing (Audio). Dennis Palmieri presented the latest in second screen TV and the possibilities of social TV. After a quick preview of OVEE, Shing presented a sprint through the latest in marketing trends.

OpenBento Build-a-thon (Audio) This session was a discussion and build-out of Bento, PBS Digital’s latest product that helps stations build out new web sites and augments existing sites. Led by KLRU’s Jesse Overright and PBS Digital’s Max Duke, stations provided input to help guide Bento development.

Later on the main stage, Digital Revenue Generation: Success Stories and Realities Outside of Public Media (Audio) speakers David Brancaccio (Marketplace), Paul Smurl (NYT), Evan Smith (Texas Tribune) and David Gehring (Google) shared their success stories in paywalls, digital membership models, events, new forms of sponsorship, and other forms of revenue.

By the end of the conference, it was clear that the integration of radio and television thought-leaders lead to great discussions on how we can serve our community. Please keep the discussion going.

To listen to all the sessions from IMA 2013, visit the SoundCloud site,

See the #iMA2013 Conference story unfold on Storify:
IMA 2013 Day 2 Opening  Session

To add your own take-aways from IMA 2013, please feel to leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.  

Updated March 26, 2013