CIO’s community media model

Submissions for the 2014 CIO 100 closed last week. The editors and judges are already working through the over 100 submissions to be included in our annual listing of CIOs that have led and delivered transformation in their organisation.

The CIO 100is a primary example of the different approach to building a media product here at CIO UK. Over 200 CIOs that have a direct relationship with this title asked to be included in the request for submissions process. Painful years of experience have taught us that only a direct relationship with the readership can guarantee the accuracy of the entry. By cutting away the unnecessary intermediaries we are able to create a better media product that is of greater use to the CIO community we serve and our partners.

In the two years since my team and I rebooted the CIO 100 this annual exercise has become the tail that wags the dog as the submissions disclose stories of transformation at organisations that only experts like our judges and the CIO editorial team can spot. Examples include Mike Sturrock, CIO at logistics firm DX Group, CIOs in local (David Wilde) and national government and manufacturing (Unilever, P&G and JCB).

We meet CIOs through a variety of channels, but the vast majority begin a direct relationship with us, which is a great honour. Maintaining those relationships and having a community focus is a continual job and for myself as Editor in Chief, it consumes a large part of my weekly workload. Other titles have become like smokers, addicted to a tobacco of "surveys" about CIOs with no recourse to fact check the findings; prepared statements or vendor booked interviews that have to focus on the vendor's product, rather than business and the disruption technology is having on that organisation and sector.

No story and no technology strategy can live in isolation of the wider world. Every conversation this title has discusses the parlous state of the national and world economy, the complexity of the organisation and its customer needs or the demands that changing technology place on teams.

Being physically in front of your readers ensures that your online, CIO 100, events and print content truly reflects what the audience tackles day in day out. The net result is that the community contribute not only interviews with my team, but also write for the title, in recent months the CIOs of Barclays, Evanbase and Plusnet have penned articles that all feed the community real nutritional information rather than a sales led "message". We have daily social media interaction and are regularly called upon to help CIOs meet each other to share ideas or enable them to recruit new talent.

Our mission is to bring the CIO community together to accurately discuss the business technology leadership issues we face. So the CIO 100 is not only a gauge of transformation within an organisation, it is a measure of the confident communicators that want to contribute to the community of their peers and recognise in 2014 that technology enables communities and that a community model like ours is supportive of their careers and organisations. I'd like to thank all the CIOs that have taken the time to take part in the CIO 100 and urge any that rely on intermediaries to tell their story to break free and join the community.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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