Not too many years ago, the staff here at the Business Times came to a very difficult decision. It was difficult because we were worried it would be seen as a step backward for the paper, particularly as others in print media were doing the same thing at the time. Regardless, we made the decision to cut back from a weekly publication to twice a month.
In hindsight, that decision has benefitted our readers, advertisers and our business. In our twice-a-month format, we now offer five or six times the number of news stories on our pages than we ever did on a weekly basis. That’s because we have more advertisers in this format than ever, which allows us the space to cover the great stories about businesses in the Grand Valley.
The move also has allowed us to grow from having six special sections in a year to now having 24.
This is the first area where we will look to the past to serve our readers and advertisers better in the coming year. We will re-introduce our Focus news magazine, which will allow for our special sections to once again be inserted as pullouts, giving our advertisers greater marketing ability and shelf life, our clientele more space to tell their stories as they relate to the topics and our readers a much better product fro which to learn about what’s happening in business in the Grand Valley.
In addition, we will expand our Grand Valley Green page to a two-page spread in our first edition of the month to give more space to these great stories and more opportunities for advertisers to showcase their products and services. We also will add a two-page spread as a balance to the Grand Valley Green page in our second edition of the month, a spread titled Outside the Office. In that space, business owners, managers and our readers can find stories about the great things available to do in the valley, other pursuits to take them away from their everyday routines and information about staying healthy and active. As we have done before with various organizations or business segments, we will provide a high-quality space in our paper balanced with information and advertising alike.
Now that we know better, perhaps calling these kinds of things a step back isn’t appropriate. It’s more like taking a step away for a moment to see what’s best for our advertisers and readers. After all, without you, it wouldn’t matter how many times a year we published.
And that would truly be a step in the wrong direction.
Our warmest prayers for a merry Christmas and blessed new year!