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Opening the door for all of our readers

Attentive readers of the Mississippi Business Journal know that we focus on a specific subject area in every issue. This week, we magnify that focus with two sections: the first covers advertising and media on pages 8-15; the second delves into office automation and printing on pages 20-24.

A sampling of what you’ll find:

• Contributing writer Lynn Lofton finds out how the Coast’s radio stations are coming back after Katrina, and what they’re doing to prepare for the 2006 hurricane season that officially begins June 1st. Find out more on page 8.

• On page 11, we turn the spotlight on focus groups and how businesses are using them to improve performance.

• Take a trip around the state and find out how office automation, digital imaging and document management firms are helping their clients. Find these features and a profile on pages 20, 21 and 24.

And while our focus sections receive a great deal of attention (they are, after all, the focus), this issue’s wide range of coverage also includes a preview of the Mississippi Economic Council’s annual meeting May 10th, details of Entergy’s move back to New Orleans from a temporary corporate headquarters in Clinton, and advice from sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer for dealing with the biggest sales whines of all time.

Unfortunately, we’re missing a few things, too. We couldn’t bring you an updated business perspective on last week’s immigration protests before our press deadline came crashing down. We weren’t able to work in the details of a new Mississippi ethanol plant in the works from Ergon and Bunge North America, but look for in-depth coverage of the deal in the next issue. Of course, perhaps the most important thing that this issue is missing is you. You, the reader.

There is no shortage of anxiety in the print media about what the future holds for our industry. Online news sources, stagnant circulation, intense competition and a host of other concerns weigh heavily. But when considering these challenges, I see a way out. Again, the answer is you — the reader.

You are why we’re here. You are what it’s about. And we need to do a better job of listening to you and explaining the process that brought you the issue that you’re reading now. Essentially, dialogue — back and forth, give and take — between us.

So, what do you need in a statewide business newsweekly? What do you want to read? What can you do without? What can we do to cover your business better?

As I’ve written before but cannot overemphasize, your answers to these questions enable us to do our jobs better. We don’t publish the Mississippi Business Journal for ourselves. We do it to inform, engage, advance and tell the great success stories of our state’s business community.

Let us hear from you today.

Jim Laird is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. His e-mail address is jlaird@msbusiness.com.

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