I’d Like to Brag on My Staff

From the Publisher

In August we learned the magazines of Rowland Publishing earned five awards from the Florida Magazine Association, which annually recognizes excellence in the magazine industry. Three were first-place “Charlie” awards. 

Our writing earned three awards. Beth Nabi’s humorous tale about a “toilet squirrel,” won a first place Charlie for the best humor column in the state.

In the feature writing category, we took two out of three top awards. Director of Editorial Services Linda Kleindienst won second place for her cover story in the April/May issue of Emerald Coast Magazine about Robert and Daryl Davis, the creators of Seaside. A Tallahassee Magazine story on Caboodle Ranch, a refuge for abandoned and stray cats written by Editor Rosanne Dunkelberger, took third place honors.

Our newest publishing title, 850 — The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida — won the other two first-place Charlie awards — for Best Written and Best Overall magazine in our circulation category. We came out of the gate with a winner with this magazine, which circulates to business leaders from Monticello to Pensacola. 850 has only been published for a year.

Words cannot adequately express to you how excited and happy I am for our 30-plus staff of publishing professionals. Rowland Publishing plays in a very big arena of magazine publishing in Florida. Without the staff’s expertise, focus and dedication to excellence, this kind of recognition and acknowledgement would never be possible. 

Our editorial and photographic team, with eight decades of combined journalistic experience, works diligently to craft the many stories for each issue, hopefully challenging your intellect and enlightening you about new ideas, people and programs. They maintain high professional standards and don’t allow our titles to cross the line by patronizing our advertisers. We know our editorial mission and have a very strong sense of our identity in each marketplace we serve. 

Look at the work of our creative and design team and you will immediately notice the difference between a Rowland Publishing product and any other publication in the region. While the average reader will notice the overall difference, most will probably be unable to define the many subtle elements that separate us far and away from all the others. Publication designers and ad designers make the difference between building a very good ad and producing an attractive publication that readers are anxious to pick up and begin thumbing through.

When these two departments merge toward the end of a publishing cycle — when the imagery, the words and the design elements come together — music happens. What you, the reader, gets is unique and special. And that is what separates us from the pack.

The sales team, where I began my career, consists of nine road warriors who hit the street each day and tell our story to the lifeblood of every publication — the advertising community. They walk a difficult road, especially these days when dollars are scarce. But they sell with integrity, maintaining that clear line between advertising and editorial. We could double our sales each issue if we ran “puff “stories about advertisers as we are asked to do almost daily. But while that may generate short-term gain, it will be a long-term loss in this world of professional publishing. 

Simply put, advertisers cannot buy stories with their advertising dollars. This may be the business model of others, but we feel that’s the easy way. We expect an advertiser to advertise on the merits of our quality and because we are straightforward about how many of our magazines are delivered directly into homes (and into the hands of consumers) in the region. That’s why we have advertisers such as Publix, IBM, Sun Trust, Wachovia, St. Joe, Gulf Power and other top-shelf advertisers in Tallahassee and beyond.

Our management and support teams in administration and finance help keep our publications on schedule and supported, each and every day. We bring every publication out on time. We pay every one of our bills on time. We do business the way it should be done all the time. And we push our people to excellence each day.  

These awards are judged by the top national professionals in our industry. Today I stand in the shadow behind my team, humbled by their drive, intelligence and quest for making each publication coming out the door just one notch better than the last.  

 The team at Rowland Publishing is No. 1 in my book and I trust in yours.

Categories: Archive