Canadian Magazine Industry News
14 March 2013,     BURNABY, BC
BC Business redesigns with need for speed
Canada Wide Media's BC Business launched a redesign with its March issue, unveiled a new website, and rolled out a daily online newsletter. Not enough? An iPad edition of the mag will also be available soon.

According to editor-in-chief Tom Gierasimczuk, the regional business mag's old delivery model, which he described as just "a static website plus the monthly magazine," wasn't cutting it anymore. "We were like feet in cement when it came to breaking news," he said.

The March issue of BC Business features more visual content
The March issue of BC Business features more visual content

The site rehaul had smartphones and tablets firmly in mind, heeding reader survey results that showed 25% of traffic now comes from mobile. Speed became a focus and shorter pieces were adopted for news updates, more video content for a multimedia experience, and responsive design for automatic browser optimization for all devices.

Not only did staff have to undergo in-house training to work with the new platforms, but the entire editorial workflow changed to more of a "newsroom model," Gierasimczuk said.

Staff editors are now vertically responsible, across all delivery platforms, for different business sectors, whether tech, media, natural resources, etc. Editors track a story from its initial blast on the site, through to the newsletter, and expand on it as necessary according to reader interest. Stories that do well are "graduated" to the print and iPad versions with longer, less timeline-dependent features.

"The editors are now cross-platform experts," Gierasimczuk said, noting that no one has been designated as online or digital editor. "It's not enough to hang on to the structural job descriptions of 'you edit the front of the book, you handle features, and I'll handle the back of the book.' That's been torn away now." Despite the increased editorial output, no staff additions were needed thanks to the new system and a fast-learning team, he said.

The art department works simultaneously on the print and digital versions as well, Gierasimczuk added. The printed mag will now be perfect-bound every month (binding was previously inconsistent), with matte covers and more visual content.

The new channels have opened up opportunities for advertisers, including video and slideshow packages. Native advertising is also available; branded advertorial content, clearly marked as ads, will appear in the same stream as news posts. Ads can be placed contextually, so that ones targeting the mining sector, for example, will run in-stream with mining industry news. That way readers see ads directly related to what they are reading, and "the ad is less interruptive and actually quite complementary," Gierasimczuk said.

Moving from Marketing Magazine, Gierasimczuk joined BC Business as editor-in-chief September last year. The 40-year-old mag has a print circulation of 26,000, and over 13,600 subscribers.
— Jef Catapang
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