With everyone so busy nowadays, it’s hard to keep up with how businesses are doing things differently, especially since the Great Recession, when so many more have joined the world we in journalism have been in for 30 years: Innovate and execute, or die.
Twin Cities Business, like most other monthly magazines, came out of the recession a bit wounded. Since then, however, we’ve adopted a culture of continuous innovation and agility. An old Burger King ad that started out with “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce…” sums up our thinking: we needed to get better at serving what you want, how you want it, when you want it. We’ve made progress on this and as a result, our business, and brand, are the strongest they’ve been in years.
We have some of the best business journalists in town on our staff (next month I’ll list the awards TCB has won in 2016). We’re producing insightful, longer-form fresh stories in a monthly magazine that are timed to look at on-point issues—for example, our cover stories on Vikings’ tickets in August and Prince’s estate in July; no small feat when you used to work with a four-month lead time.
And we’ve evolved in how we deliver content to our audiences. While this magazine is still our base, we’ve developed more than 20 additional conduits through which our news and perspective are being distributed. This is in addition to Twitter, Facebook and other social media endeavors. We now need to do a better job of marketing!
In conversations with many of you in recent months, I’ve been greeted with surprise when I mention everything we’re doing today. And given more advancements will be made in 2017, I figured I better start updating you.
While we publish 12 issues of this magazine each year, we also produce daily news online, six e-newsletters that range between twice a week and monthly and 16 live events. We also partner with other media.
E-Newsletters: Each provides readers with perspective on the latest business news and issues, and you can sign up for any or all of them online at bit.ly/2esFTsQ:
Events: Each of our annual events is different from anything else in the market and a natural extension of what the magazine is all about. Here’s our list for 2017 so far (listed in chronological order):
Forums—About 200 VIPs attend each of these roll-up-our-sleeves discussions on the latest opportunities, challenges and solutions in these areas:
• Chief Marketing Officers; February
• Middle Market Leaders; March
• Women in Corporate Leadership; April
• Commercial Real Estate Leaders; May
• Chief Financial Officers; June
• Chief Information Officers; July
• Manufacturing Leaders; September
• C-Suite Strategies; October
Awards—Between 250 and 500 people join us at each event to honor our state’s greatest leaders—each carefully selected by panels of experts—in these areas:
• Small Business Success Stories; January
• Wonder Women; February
• Minnesota Business Hall of Fame; July
• Marvelous Mentors; September
• Outstanding Directors; October
• Family Business; November
• Person of the Year and 100 People to Know; December
Other Media: TCB distributes our content through other media, including weekly segments on KARE-11 TV and WCCO-AM radio. KARE segments run Wednesday at 5 p.m. and again Thursday morning between 5, 7 and 11 a.m.; WCCO is live every Monday at 10:40 a.m.
And there’s more to be done.
In August I enjoyed a 900-mile road trip through northern Minnesota stopping in cities such as Warroad, Bemidji and Virginia. (Despite our name, TCB covers business leaders, issues and trends statewide). Last month, I attended the Folio: Show, the magazine industry’s largest conference, where ideas were shared on how to improve innovation in content creation, marketing, sales, content marketing, events and more; and EY’s Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s best annual event for bringing together entrepreneurial-minded, successful leaders.
From those trips, additional research and conversations with many of you, our team has some excellent ideas about how to serve you even better in the years ahead—while further bolstering our sustainable business model. You’ll begin to see that when we roll out a new responsive website early in the year. As for other details, we’re keeping them under wraps until they’re closer to launch, but I’ll share two hints: northern Minnesota, and Facebook.
Here’s to a successful 2017!