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Opinion: Editorial calendar changes to tell new stories

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In business and in life, a new year seems to bring a time of renewal and an opportunity to move beyond the hurdles and potholes of the year gone by to focus on the future. It’s a chance for a clean slate, of sorts.

For the team at Springfield Business Journal, the end of one year and start of the next also provides an opportunity to review how we’re accomplishing our mission, and to explore ways to bring new topics, companies and people into the mix – or to find different ways to approach those that are familiar.

Possibly the most obvious evidence of our efforts is the editorial calendar, which outlines facets of our business such as the weekly In Focus sections and ranked lists that will appear in our pages.

Though several business sectors are consistently included each year, we seek to add market sectors that have popped up on our radar or have evolved to the point that they justify being highlighted in an In Focus. From an advertising standpoint, and because every page we put out must be supported by advertisers’ dollars, representatives of the sales team also weigh in on whether they see adequate potential. When the answer on both (completely separate) sides of the equation is yes, chances are, we’ve just found a new entrant for our editorial calendar.

For the 2012 editorial calendar, here are the In Focus sections that will make their debuts:
  • Active Boomers, Jan. 30, tapping into the sheer market presence of baby boomers, and highlighting what they’re up to. Not surprisingly, few seem to be interested in slowing down.
  • Managers’ Guide, March 12, focusing on the role of company managers, and the challenges that come with leading team members toward corporate success.
  • Owners’ Guide, May 14, sharing a similar rationale as the Managers’ Guide, but more specifically geared toward what it means to be an entrepreneur and a company stakeholder with your name and dollar on the line.
  • Off the Clock, July 2, delving into the hobbies and social activities of businesspeople. Longtime readers might remember our After 5 feature, with the tagline, “It’s why we work.” This is a similar concept, focused on extracurricular events, but brought together through the In Focus format.
  • Your Business Advisers, July 16, looking at the support network it takes to operate a business.
  • Wired 24/7, Aug. 27, exploring technological advances and how they change the way we do business in the Ozarks.
We’ve also added four new lists to the calendar: private investigators (Jan. 16); payroll companies (Feb. 20); employee screening firms (March 5); and business valuation companies (May 14).

Rest assured, even for familiar In Focus topics and existing lists, the editorial team is always developing ways to expand or improve coverage. We look for new twists to put on tried-and-true topics. In addition to keeping tabs on day-to-day business news, we also keep a close eye on industry trends that we can dig up to guide readers to broader understanding.

To be frank, 2011 was a difficult year for many business sectors. Clearly, we can’t turn our backs on lessons learned in previous years, but I’m definitely looking forward to the weeks and months ahead.

Readers have trusted SBJ for southwest Missouri’s business news since 1980, and earning – and keeping that trust – is something that we take seriously. I’m glad to be part of the team delivering that news via our weekly newspaper, e-mail alerts, SBJ.net and our sister publication, Joplin Tri-State Business Journal.

Springfield Business Journal Features Editor Maria Hoover can be reached at mhoover@sbj.net.[[In-content Ad]]

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