For the third consecutive year, Twin Cities Business received the first-place award in the Best Magazine category during the annual summer conference of the Alliance of Area Business Publications (AABP). Receiving the award is an honor tantamount to being named the best regional business magazine in America.
The AABP represents 74 regional business magazines and newspapers throughout North America and a large majority of the regional business magazines in the United States. Judging for the annual editorial awards is conducted by 30 faculty members at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.
No other publication has received the Best Magazine award for three years in a row since a Washington, D.C., publication called Regardie’s did so in the 1980s. Twin Cities Business has now received it in four of the past five years, six of the past 10 years, and seven of the past 14 years.
This year, Twin Cities Business also received first-place awards in Best Overall Design, Best Use of Photography and Illustration, and Best Cover. It received a silver award in Best Personality Profile (for an October 2008 feature by writer Ann Bauer about Investment Rarities CEO Jim Cook), and bronze awards in the categories of Best Feature Design, Best Feature (for a profile of the Goldberg bail bonding company by Jack Gordon), and Best Body of Work by a Single Writer—also Gordon.
The magazine received more gold awards and more total awards than any other magazine in the association. All of them are a tribute to a large group of writers and photographers and associates of mine whose names appear here, especially design and art directors Chris Winn and Scott Buchschacher; editors Denise Logeland, Gene Rebeck, and Mary Connor; and former editor Katie Harholdt, who left the magazine in June.
Here is a smattering of the judges’ comments: “Twin Cities Business is willing to take risks and has the skills to succeed when it does . . . . The ‘people’ pictures and portraits are fun, informal, accessible . . . . From the cover on, the feel of the magazine is notably fresh for a business magazine. Full advantage is made of the large format. The layout demonstrates playfulness and confidence . . . . The type provides an airy feel, but make no mistake about the substance that still shines through.”
Had enough? Me neither. “Twin Cities Business,” the judges continued, “demonstrates that business coverage doesn’t need to be stiff or stuffy, and that the stories can be told with clever and substantial journalism. They do great personality profiles . . . . The visual storytelling is dynamic and cohesive, and the thoughtful covers attract attention.”
Like almost every other business, this magazine has been affected in recent months by the downturn in the economy. My associates would certainly prefer last year’s revenues to this year’s trophies. It is gratifying nevertheless to see their efforts recognized for comparing well against this magazine’s peer publications throughout the country.
And now I need to ask for some help. I would like to ask you to identify at least one small company of notable achievement for an annual project that we conduct in conjunction with Associated Bank.
In the December issue, we plan to feature our seventh annual package of Small-Business Success Stories, highlighting eight to 10 small companies with achievements that are worthy of celebration. If you know a compelling story about any Minnesota company with fewer than 500 employees, we would like to learn about it.
Yes, it can be your own company or a company run by a client or a friend. But it needs to be described in writing—one or two single-spaced pages is usually about right; less than a page is usually a waste of a nominators’ time—and it needs to include the company’s approximate revenues and number of employees. Nominations should be sent to me by August 10 at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jay Novak, Twin Cities Business, 220 South Sixth Street, Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55402.
What makes a compelling story? You tell us. It could involve a turnaround, rapid early growth, an unusual product innovation, notable longevity, or the overcoming of an unusual challenge. It could involve growth in a declining industry—or in our recently declining economy. Featured companies will be honored at an awards dinner in January. Nominees not featured will not be identified.
Finally, in keeping with our policy of revealing all potential editorial conflicts of interest, I need to disclose that I have made the minimum allowable investment in the Opportunity Partners investment fund described in this month’s feature story about Bruce Hendry. Hendry is a general partner in the fund, which invests in distressed real estate.