TCB Wins Five National Magazine Awards
Tour guide Divine Zheng leads a group through the upper quad at the University of St. Thomas. photo courtesy of university of st. thomas/mark brown

TCB Wins Five National Magazine Awards

At the 2023 Alliance of Area Business Publishers awards, Adam Platt’s writing received four awards and TCB’s redesigned magazine cover took home a bronze.

One lousy college tour that sent his daughter running away from a school she thought she wanted to attend left TCB Executive Editor Adam Platt wondering why, when universities spend big money on marketing and recruitment, they leave the first campus impression—often a make-or-break part of the decision process—to haphazard student-led tours.

Like many of Platt’s observations on life and business, it starts as a Monday morning musing, but quickly becomes a fully formed story idea—a clever and nuanced angle on the fraught college application process that perhaps some of the admissions officers he interviewed hadn’t even considered.

From Platt’s feature, “Why Campus Tours Keep College Presidents Up at Night” in the June/July 2022 issue of Twin Cities Business:

“Only a third of students visit prospective colleges, but those who do are far more likely to enroll, so the on-campus experience is key. Yet even as higher ed has evolved into a business steeped in big data, the campus tour remains a quirky, idiosyncratic relic of another era, where teenagers say and do things that may or may not be representative of the college and leave impressions that a school may or may not want to make.”

That’s the magic of Platt’s writing and reporting, which earned four national journalism awards—three gold; one silver—at the Alliance of Area Business Publishers annual conference in Detroit this week. Judges remarked on Platt’s “creativity and well-honed interviewing skills,” and the way he “expertly combines reporting details and statistics” to offer compelling explanations of the questions many of us are mulling, but few of us seek to answer.

At Twin Cities Business and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, where Platt has been on staff for nearly 25 years, we know how lucky we are to work with Adam, and benefit from his fresh takes, pragmatic lens, and willingness to articulate what others are likely thinking and pursue answers to questions most haven’t thought to ask. It’s gratifying to see his talent recognized among regional business publications across the country. In addition to gold awards for the college tours story and a profile on seemingly tireless restaurateur Daniel Del Prado, Platt won a silver award for explanatory journalism for his deep dive into the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and a gold award for his overall body of work in the last year, including a look at MSP Airport’s post pandemic strategy.

Cover of the August/September 2022 issue of Twin Cities Business magazine

That airport story inspired the cover of our August/September 2022 issue, which was recognized with a bronze award for TCB art director Mike Novak. The fact that it was the first cover of our redesign and new book size makes the honor especially poignant. Novak and Creative Director Michael Norseng worked closely with photographer David Turner to capture rarely seen angles on the airport. But it was Novak’s clever cloud-like type treatment that really sealed the deal. As the AABP judging committee from the University of Missouri School of Journalism noted: “A beautiful combination of typography and visual sets apart this non-traditional approach to a cover. The layered image and negative space drive the eye to middle of page, where the type treatment subtly suggests a story that is materializing. Reversing the nameplate turns down its volume and gives it a cloud-like feel that enables the other elements to carry the focus.”

These are the sort of details we tend to perseverate on internally, in hopes that the magazine may catch your eye, or even rise to the top of your coffee table stack. The recognition fuels us as we constantly strive to inform, challenge, inspire and surprise.

Now, back to work!