Editors speak on what they appreciate after a deranged 2020

2020 has been a rough patch for not only the b2b journalism community but for the entire world. Publications across the globe have had to modify multiple aspects of their business to adjust to the new lifestyle we have all encountered. COVID-19 has suffocated the excitement out of numerous activities, making it difficult for many to enjoy their jobs. But there is always beauty in the struggle, and we spoke to editors across the world to find it.

After losing an fair amount of revenue due to COVID-19, Joseph Rydholm, Editor of Quirk’s Marketing Research Review spoke on what this pandemic has solidified for him.  

“In-person events have been salvation in recent years, as we were able to translate decades of goodwill and a strong reputation in the industry to mount very successful events,” he said. “Of course that all went away last year, but we were still able to stage two incredibly successful virtual events to help make up for some of the revenue lost to cancellation of in-person events, which I count as a huge achievement given that we had never done virtual events before. I knew our team was creative and resilient but this has really reinforced that notion!”

This pandemic has forced publications to not only appreciate normal life but appreciate the little things such as working as a team, troubleshooting, and adjusting to consumers. Donald Longo, Editorial Director of Convenience Store News had this to say in regards to his appreciation: “I appreciate the flexibility of my team and company to pivot to new platforms in the face of the pandemic.” 

Meanwhile, John Lofstock, Editor of Cstore Decisions, spoke highly of how his team pushed through COVID obstacles. 

“I’ve told people internally for years we have a great team managed by a talented executive editor. I expected the team to buckle down, work hard and produce outstanding content and without exception, each team member has shined the past 10 months. Very proud of their work ethic but not surprised. They have been outstanding,” said Lofstock.

This past year was a major rough patch for publishers in terms of job security. COVID-19 forced numerous Americans to lose their jobs or position rank. Despite 2020 being a devastating year for jobs, there were editors that continued to flourish in their position. Laurie Shuster, the editor in chief of Civil Engineering, revealed her contentment with her job security. 

“We appreciate still having jobs, and having the kinds of jobs that enable us to work from home. We appreciate that our company has let us take home any and all equipment we have,” she said.

In a previous article, we spoke on Print vs. Digital and how COVID-19 has affected the publications making that transition. Johan Meyer, the Senior Editor of International Hardware Retailer, raved about the transition COVID-19 has forced his company to make. 

“If you look at the rate at which publications have closed down over the past two years — and especially in 2020 — we cannot but be appreciative of the decision to go 100% digital early. This gave us enough time to focus our publications properly, to build strong audiences for each publication, and to properly establish our publications among the leading titles within the industries that we cover,” he said. “We have worked hard over the past few years to gain the trust of our readers and our advertisers as leading professional titles. This has allowed us to grow, even during the pandemic, when many others failed. We continue to put in a lot of effort, but in the end it pays off. Our publications are thriving, and we have jobs. Our clients have an effective and highly targeted platform where their advertising and PR efforts reach the relevant market.” 

Meyer also noted that the traditionally old-fashioned South African industries are slowly realizing that digital is the way to go. 

“It is completely measurable, meaning we are able to fine-tune each ad, campaign, or PR release, and track its effectiveness in reaching the intended target market, unlike in the old days when, once the magazine is printed and delivered, it is out of your hands.”

Some other things that editors across the globe appreciated more after living through 2020 included:

  • I’m thankful to be employed, and to be surrounded by a wonderful team.
  • My team has been incredible: professional despite the difficulties and uncertainty, resilient, generous and patient with other team members, and productive … we haven’t missed a deadline or dropped quality — actually, the opposite.
  • I appreciate that the pandemic has forever changed the way people work — that there will be remote working opportunities, especially in our profession.
  • We appreciate the resilience of remote working, while maintaining an awareness of its fragility.
  • It’s made me appreciate the value of well-reported stories and of trying to carve out your niche as a b2b publication. 

Every b2b publisher has a different perspective on what 2020’s obstacles have forced them to appreciate. Shining light on the lessons learned is what will push the b2b community to new heights. Although it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel in terms of concluding COVID-19, our industry’s editors and art directors remain hopeful for success in 2021.