Tuesday, December 19, 2006

MAP dons the Ranlys

The Missouri Association of Publications is starting up a new awards competition for its members called the Ranlys. The competition is named after MAP founder Don Ranly. The deadline is Jan. 16, 2007. You can take a look at the PDF brochure here to learn more about the categories and the entry rules.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2007 chapter events

Be sure to mark your calendars so you don't miss out on the great meetings planned for our chapter in 2007.

Jan. 17, 2007
Trends in Publishing

Location: a private room at McCormick and Schmick’s on the Country Club Plaza
Speakers: Executives from the KC B2B companies
Moderator: Incoming ASBPE chapter president Bill King

March 7, 2007
Brainstorming Art Ideas and Designing Infographics

May 16, 2007
Spring Writing and Editing Workshop

July 18, 2006
Ten Ideas for the Web that You Can Implement Tomorrow

Sept. 19, 2007
Copyright Law and Plagiarism
Speakers: A media law professor and a lawyer

Nov. 7, 2007
2007 Magazine Boot Camp

Presented by: The KC ASBPE chapter and the Missouri Association of Publications (MAP)
Speakers: Keynote speaker and three speakers for the following sessions: writing, editing and online

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Changes to the chapter's board

After doing a great job during their two-year terms, vice president Bill King will become the chapter president and Spring Suptic, a board member, will become the new vice president from January 2007-2009. Congratulations to Bill and Spring, who will do a great job leading our chapter for the next two years.

Amy Fischbach, who served as the president of the chapter from 2005-2007, will become the immediate past-president of the chapter.

Jody Shee, who made many valuable contributions as the secretary of the chapter, has decided to resign.

Become a board member
If you're interested in serving on the ASBPE Kansas City chapter board from 2007-2009, please send your resume to asbpekc@gmail.com. Thank you!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Competition brochures mailed today

Entry brochures for the Azbee Awards of Excellence were mailed out today. If you are on our mailing list, you should receive yours in the next couple of weeks. If you don't want to wait or are not sure you're on the list, you can just use our online entry form or download a PDF version of the form (831K).

Note: Martha Spizziri is vice president of the ASBPE Boston/New England chapter. She is posting to this site while ASBPE-KC blog administrator Spring Suptic is away.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Better to ask for forgiveness than for permission"

Note: "Better to ask for forgiveness than for permission" comes from the ASBPE Boston blog.

Those words come from Neal Vitale, CEO of 1105 Media, as quoted in Folio:'s report on today's CEO roundtable at American Business Media's Top Management Meeting. According to the report by Folio:'s Matt Kinsman, "the CEO panel emphasized that the transformation facing publishers isn't just about adapting online but breaking established, outdated molds throughout their companies."

Vitale's comment had to do with moving corporate focus away from the bottom line. The full quote from Vitale, as it appears in Kinsman's article, was this: "We want there to be a sense that it's better to ask for forgiveness than for permission. If people have a good idea, don't wait around for approval from the budget department."

Other highlights from Kinsman's report:
  • Panelists stressed the importance of investing in the company and fostering entrepreneurship, even in the face of the lean times we've seen recently.

  • Vance Publishing president and COO Peggy Walker noted that her company has had to rethink its decentralized organizational structure; the energy and resources expended on multiple small projects could have been used on larger projects that might have benefitted the company more. That advice seems to contradict the point immediately above, and Vitale's comments, which seem to call for a less-centralized decision-making structure. Perhaps the point is to be flexible and rely on common sense, not fads or trends, in deciding when and how to remake your business.

  • With 18 different publications, Farm Progress Companies suffered from overlap among titles. Kinsman quotes company president Jeff Lapin as saying. "Advertisers recognized us as a strong brand, but said we just did the same content across 18 magazine[s]." It must have hurt to hear that. Farm Progress deserves credit for taking the advice to heart and overhauling its offerings.

  • Also of note: As part of its revamp, Farm Progress entered the consumer market with a new magazine called Rural Life.

  • Interestingly, Vance Publishing brought on board staff members it referred to as "change agents," including a new human resources staffer.

  • Also in the human resources arena, McGraw-Hill's Harry Sachinis advocated what he called "overhiring," noting that the company hired a former astronaut and aviation-industry executive to head up its AviationWeek group.
It's nice to hear all this emphasis on investing in products and personnel coming from corporate leaders, but it's hard not to think that for many companies -- especially given the recent economic situation in the industry -- such investments are just not an option. And fostering an entrepreunerial culture is something much easier said than done. Still, there are companies that seem to manage one or both feats fairly successfully (IDG comes to mind). The hard part is figuring out how they do it, and how to replicate that success. At one of last year's [Boston] chapter meetings, it became evident that innovation often happens under the radar.

Related link:
Other B2B media news today from Folio:
Martha Spizziri is vice president of the ASBPE Boston/New England chapter. She is posting to this site while ASBPE-KC blog administrator Spring Suptic is away.

Online Azbee entry form posted

The online version of the Azbee Awards for Excellence entry form is now available. This form lets entrants fill out and submit entry information online instead of filling out paper forms, and basic publication information and contact information can be entered just once for multiple entries.

A PDF version (831K) of the Azbee Awards for Excellence entry form that can be downloaded, printed, and mailed in is also available. Hard copies of the entry brochure will be mailed out in a few weeks.

And don't forget: We've added 16 new categories, in these areas:
  • Multi-Platform
  • Print Magazine Editorial
  • Print Magazine Design
  • Print Newsletter Editorial
  • Print Newsletter Design
  • Digital Magazines
  • E-Newsletter
  • Blogs
  • Web
A full list of new categories is here.

Martha Spizziri is vice president of the ASBPE Boston/New England chapter. She is posting to this site while ASBPE-KC blog administrator Spring Suptic is away.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Airing problems in science, industry, and reporting

Note: Airing Problems in Science, Industry, and Reporting comes from the ASBPE Boston blog.

The PBS show AIR: America's Investigative Reports is always fascinating viewing. Each episode looks at the reporting behind a specific investigative story. Last week's episode, "Science Fiction," was of particular interest for professional, industry, and association publications, though. It centered on reporting done by Environmental Science & Technology, which is published by the American Chemical Society.

Paul D. Thacker, who was a reporter at ES&T, starting finding evidence of deliberate attempts to slant science news to benefit certain industries. Among Thacker 's findings:
  • Steven J. Milloy, the publisher of JunkScience.com, which criticizes scientific research findings on topics like global climate change and health issues, was a science consultant for Philip Morris at the same time he was debunking the risks of second-hand smoke on Fox New's web site. (At this writing, JunkScience.com has posted no statement about the AIR episode.)

  • A purportedly grassroots activist group in Oregon called Project Protect was connected to the timber industry. The group advocated for cutting down trees as means of preventing forest fires, a position also espoused by the industry.

  • The consulting firm The Weinberg Group submitted a proposal to DuPont detailing ways to defend an allegedly carcinogenic chemical used in Teflon.
Thacker reported on these issues in ES&T (see Related Links, below, for stories accessible to non-ES&T subscribers). He received acclaim for his work -- including an award from the Society of Environmental Journalists -- and got positive feedback from readers.

Thacker's story especially resonated because of the recent publication of ASBPE's book Journalism That Matters, which tells how B2B writers reported articles that brought about positive change in their industries. But Thacker's reporting didn't result in quite such a happy outcome as those in the book.

An American Chemical Society board member questioned the value of Thacker's reporting on the Weinberg group, and Thacker says he was soon asked to stop doing investigative pieces. When he found evidence that the Bush administration had tried to stop scientists from discussing connections between climate change and hurricanes, ES&T wasn't interested in publishing the story, he says; in September his climate change story was published on Salon.com. Thacker says he was later fired by ES&T. (The magazine has released a statement about the AIR report and Thacker's departure from the magazine, saying among other things that American Chemical Society rules prohibit board members from interfering with publication editors' activities. Thacker now works for the web site Inside Higher Ed.)

If you get a chance to catch a repeat of the episode, or any installation of AIR, I highly recommend it. And for a look at techniques business press reporters used to get key information for controversial articles, see this report from the ASBPE Washington, D.C., blog.

Related links: Martha Spizziri is vice president of the ASBPE Boston/New England chapter. She is posting to this site while ASBPE-KC blog administrator Spring Suptic is away.

Azbee entry forms now available!

Note: Azbee Entry Forms Now Available! is adapted from the ASBPE Boston blog.

A PDF of the entry form (831 KB) for the 2007 Azbee Awards of Excellence is now available.

Hard copies of the entry brochure will be mailed out in a few weeks, and a form that can be filled out and submitted online* will be posted on the ASBPE web site as well.

ASBPE has added 16 new categories to the competition, greatly expanding the digital and newsletter portions of the competition. In the print magazine area, there are new categories for headline writing, buyer’s guide s, product sections, and overall photography/illustration. A full list of new categories is here.

* Be aware that copies of magazines and other materials still must be mailed in for most categories even when submitting the form electronically.

Martha Spizziri is vice president of the ASBPE Boston/New England chapter. She is posting to this site while Spring Suptic is away.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

ASBPE National Conference Heads for New York;
Awards Program Adds Digital, Newsletter Categories

Note: ASBPE National Conference Heads for New York; Awards Program Adds Digital, Newsletter Categories comes from the ASBPE Boston blog.

For the first time ever, ASBPE's National Editorial Conference will be held in New York City. The conference and the national Azbee Awards of Excellence banquet will be held at The Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan on Aug. 2-3, 2007 (a Thursday and Friday). The national Azbee awards banquet will be held at the hotel the night of Aug. 2. For more details, see the ASBPE web site.

Speaking of the Azbees, the digital and newsletter categories have been greatly expanded. The most exciting new award is for General Excellence in Multi-Platform Journalism; it's the first time ASBPE is presenting a multi-platform award. There also are six new digital categories, five additional print newsletter categories, four new print magazine categories, and four category name changes. Details on the changes are here.

Martha Spizziri, vice president of ASBPE Boston, will be posting to this blog while Spring Suptic is away. Spring returns on Monday, Nov. 27.

Update, Nov. 14, 2:22 p.m. CST: Entry forms (831K PDF) are now posted on the ASBPE web site.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Change Agents: Trade Pubs Making a Difference

Notes: Change Agents: Trade Pubs Making a Difference comes from the ASBPE Washington, D.C. blog. Some links were added.

Martha Spizziri, vice president of ASBPE Boston, will be posting to this blog while Spring Suptic is away. Spring returns on Monday, Nov. 27.

Journalism That Matters, ASBPE's book on high-impact articles, was the focus of an ASBPE chapter panel presentation in Washington, D.C. on October 12, 2006. The book (available on Amazon.com) features case studies built around industry-changing articles from English-language business publications around the world (US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc.).

The panel was moderated by Steve Roll, editor with BNA. Roll, who is D.C. ASBPE's chapter president, and co-editor of the book, said he is struck by his encounters with award-winning editors who are proud of "not so much the award, but the change that[their] piece triggered within a particular industry." He said that the book contains both investigative pieces and "elephant-in-the-room" stories where biz pubs are the first to tackle large industry problems.

The four panelists summarized their case studies which appear in the book. John Gannon, senior editor with BNA's Right-to-Know Planning Guide, discussed his coverage of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), which are supposed to warn of dangers posed by the use of chemicals in the workplace. He noticed that problems with the sheets kept cropping up in Chemical Safety Board reports where faulty information had caused explosions and even deaths. "Can you imagine if you go to the store and you buy medication, and two times out of six if you follow the directions you end up in the hospital or dead?" Gannon asked rhetorically.

Gannon tried to get answers from OSHA and EPA. "OSHA acted so strange about it, I figured there must be something here," he said. He eventually turned to plaintiffs' lawyers and victims families for big pieces of the story. After he started reporting on the issue, a Senate hearing was held and a professional association called for corrective action.

Patience Wait, senior writer for PostNewsweek Tech Media's Government Computer News, followed up on a tip about a deputy CIO in the then two-month old Department of Homeland Security who claimed a doctorate degree on her resume from what subsequent investigation revealed was a diploma mill. The only requirements for the degree were two short papers. The school granted credit hours for "life experience" to cover all course requirements. Upon graduation, the school provided a transcript listing specific courses but giving no indication they were all waived. Wait found that it is a criminal offense in Oregon to claim a degree from the school in question (and others listed on a state website) on any job application, public or private, in the state.

She broke the story online to scoop other reporters who were beginning to sniff around. "Three days later," she said, "I got another email from another person saying 'didn't you know that she claims that all three of her degrees come from the same school?'" National media picked up the story and congressional hearings were held. The woman in question went on paid leave and ultimately resigned.

Jeanne LaBella, vice president of publishing for the American Public Power Association, published a six-part series about electricity pricing in her magazine in 2004. Most of APPA's members are electric utilities that are owned and operated by municipal governments. Historically, utilities would allocate costs and set rates according to the size of the customer. If a town had a large industrial plant that consumed 60 percent of the power, then 60 percent of overhead and facilities (lines, substations, etc.) was allocated to that customer.

APPA's chief economist advocated a different pricing scheme based on whether power was being consumed during peak or off-peak hours. Think of " how a hotel is priced," LaBella said. "If you go to the beach in the summer, you're going to pay one price for your hotel room. If you go to the beach in the winter, you're going to pay a much lower price. The same concept should be applied to electricity." Letting prices fluctuate with demand would signal customers when to back off from heavy consumption.

This was heresy in the industry, LaBella said. Reader reaction was strong and she got many requests for extra copies of the magazine so readers could pass it around to their colleagues. "Ultimately, the series led to the formation of a group of utilities from across the nation who started looking very seriously at the ways that they would redesign electric rates to come closer to the kinds of things that [the economist] was advocating in his article," LaBella said.

Molly Moses, editor/reporter with BNA's Transfer Pricing Report, started hearing in 2004 that Canadian tax authorities were taking outrageous positions in transfer tax negotiations. At issue were tax liabilities arising from imputed cross-border 'sales' of goods and services between parent and subsidiary corporations.

Moses found that company sources were reluctant to speak. "Nobody wanted to go on the record with this because they all have cases and they don't want to poison the negotiations," she said. She got around the problem by talking to a knowledgeable source at a trade association which represented the companies involved. "She could just go off on this issue without repercussions to any one company," Moses said.

After the story was published, "what was really gratifying was I could tell that it had an impact [because] cases started to move after that," Moses said. Not only did negotiations start to go smoother, but new understandings were reached among the parties as to how to resolve

Much of the question-and-answer session that followed revolved around getting past public relations departments who are sometimes overzealous gatekeepers. Patience Wait suggested trying to talk to the source at a public event. Another tactic: "You come in unobtrusively directly to the person that you want to talk with, and get them to agree that, if public affairs signs off on it, they'll talk to you," Wait said. You may find that the source will give you clues off the record and is willing to go on the record if public affairs clears it.

John Gannon said these techniques would not work at OSHA where every staff member is well-trained not to speak to the media under any circumstances without public affairs' approval. He used a different tactic after an OSHA public affairs officer didn't answer his questions and kept stringing him along. "I eventually had enough stuff that she either didn't know [or] couldn't find out that I sent her an email ... and said that when my story comes out, I'm going to do a sidebar about all the things that you don't know. I think that's going to be very interesting to my readers," Gannon said. Cooperation improved immediately thereafter. Threaten early, Gannon advises, don't let it drag on for two months like it did in this case.

Related links (added by ASBPE KC):

Monday, October 30, 2006

Catch bad copy

Boot Camp attendees brush up on editing style and techniques
By Jeff Geleski, board member, Kansas City chapter, ASBPE

Ron Johnson, an assistant professor of journalism for Kansas State University, said he took on the role of bad cop at the event. He put those in attendance in grammar school by serving a style quiz. Numerals, capitalization and even sexism — it’s police officer and not policeman — were covered in the quiz.

Johnson’s talk was called “Brushing up on AP style and advanced editing techniques.” He listed some of his pet peeves during his presentation. For example, major, unique, reaction and impact all are overused words, he said. Using parentheses inside quotes are problematic, Johnson said, for three reasons: The parenthetical detracts from the accuracy of quotes, it’s weak writing and it makes the source appear stupid.

Having taught at Kansas State since 1989, Johnson said he tells his students to know the difference between a colon and a semicolon, and then he tells the students to try to avoid using them. It upsets him when students fail to correctly use “its” and “theirs.”

“This drives me insane,” he said.

Johnson added he tells students to edit with a dirty mind, or know when readers might consider another meaning of a word. Saying someone will head a company may not be a good idea in a headline.

While most copy editors already know to use the Associated Press stylebook and dictionaries, Johnson said not all dictionaries are equal.

“Some are stronger than others,” he said.

The book Words on Words by John Bremner is another good resource for copy editors, he added.

Copy editors, he said in closing, should think of themselves as part of a team. They should be proactive in helping reporters make changes in any grammar or style weaknesses they have.

During the break following his session, Johnson critiqued design elements of attendees' magazines. A graduate of Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., Johnson is the editor of The Best of Newspaper Design, a 272-page book that showcases the nearly 1,500 winners in the Society for News Design’s international competition.


Bali High?

Note: Bali High? comes from the ASBPE Boston Blog.

Click image for video.

ASBPE associate director Robin Sherman is officially a media celebrity.

As Media Bistro's Fishbowl NY blog recently reported, Robin made a splash at the 2006 Folio:Show when he led audience members in a Balinese dance (see it on video).

Despite the antics, Sherman's purpose at the show was a serious one: To talk about ethics, and specifically the troubling results of ASBPE's exclusive research on ethics.

Among other findings, the 2003 survey found that 76% of ASBPE members had faced ad-related editorial demands — and as many as 30% of those who faced such pressure succumbed. Specific demands members confronted included:

  • providing advertorial space,
  • publishing special product sections,
  • printing corporate profiles of advertisers
  • killing stories or negative coverage,
  • softening a story objectionable story.

The research also examines the business case for strong ethical standards.

Related links:

Monday, October 23, 2006

A bit about blurbs

Boot Camp tips to tweaking headlines, blurbs and captions into shape.
By Jody Shee, secretary, Kansas City Chapter, ASBPE

In the editorial list of things to do, title-, blurb- and caption-writing often are at the bottom of the list. And that’s a shame since titles and captions are read five times more than body copy, says Don Ranly, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, MO.
“We write these at the last minute, and they often don’t get the time. These are the most important aspects of our publications if we really care about readers and getting our publications read,” he says. Ranly spoke at the workshop session “Writing Brighter Headlines and Captions” at the Kansas City ASBPE annual Magazine Boot Camp held jointly with the Missouri Association of Publications Oct. 19 at the Wyndham Hotel.

Don’t be afraid to write creative and clever headlines. They can even be a bit cryptic if you include a blurb or deck underneath that summarizes the article content, Ranly says.
Experiment with rhyming, alliteration, allusion, allegory and metaphor in writing titles for articles or ads. “Play with the readers. Award their intelligence. Make their day,” he says, adding, “We should have a title party. Bounce ideas off the wall.”
Ranly pointed out creative headlines from articles and ads:

  • “Say yes and know” (An AARP ad)
  • “It’s a lot of pun: How to throw your wit around on campus” (college newspaper article)
  • “Waking up to down: Tips on buying and caring for down comforters”
  • “Jim Salter battles plaque buildup” (an article about a man who wins a lot of awards)
  • “Close encounter” (an interview with actress Glenn Close)
  • “Lost innocents: It’s the babies that are dead and babies that did it” (about school shootings)
  • “Make womb for baby” (about infertility)
  • “The customers always write” (title for letters to the editor page)
  • “Getting a charge out of credit”
  • “Don’t call us… We’ll sue you” (about telemarketing)
  • “McDonald’s takes quarter pounding”

Blurbs come in two different types. External blurbs serve as a summary and can appear on the table of contents, while internal blurbs break up copy and draw the reader into the story.
Internal blurbs also give copy-heavy pages a visual break. However, designers shouldn’t run the blurb across the entire page, Ranly says, adding a few other blurb guidelines:
  • Write blurbs in sentences using periods.
  • Be consistent. If you have more than one internal blurb, either make them all sentences or make them all fragments.
  • Keep them short and avoid hyphenations.
  • Using pull quotes is fine, especially for internal quotes. Attribute them with a dash. Use single quote marks.

It’s important to make sure photo captions say something the photo does not say. Give useful information, which means you must demand more information from photographers.
“Every picture needs a caption, and you should write captions as if no one is going to read the copy,” Ranly says, adding several additional guidelines for caption writing:
  • Write sentences. Occasionally a fragment will do.
  • Use transitive verbs in the active voice and present tense.
  • Make captions a minimum of two lines, optimum three lines and maximum four lines.
  • Write the most complete captions under the largest or dominant photo.
  • Place the captions under the photos.
  • Use legible type, preferably bold face, sans serif, at least 10 point.
  • Give simple, consistent directions. “From left” works fine, written out and without adding, “to right.”
  • Have fun. Bright and entertaining captions communicate better.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Boot Camp success

A full workshop summary will be posted later. But here are some highlights:

Joe Sweeney
  • Are we producing a product with integrity and purpose?
  • Do we encourage senior editorial or independence decision-making?
  • How do you maintain independence?

Ron Johnson on editing
  • Terrible verbs: host and head
  • Overused words: major, unique, reaction and impact
  • Lazy attribution: believes, thinks and feels
  • Lazy quotes: Parenthetical addition or exchange of words in a direct quote. It shows poor writing and makes the speaker look stupid.
  • A copy editor has to edit with a dirty mind to prevent unintended double meanings.
  • Resources: “Words on Words” and “Working with Words”

Don Ranly on writing
  • Ask the writer to suggest titles and to write a summary, benefit blurb.
  • Ask the editors to suggest titles and have a title discussion party.
  • Great headlines quantify the benefit or command action.
  • Ban italic and reverse type.
  • You’re allowed to be creative. You’re allowed to have fun.
  • Don’t stretch callout blurbs across the page.
  • The dominant picture gets the dominant caption.

Larry Lannon on new media
  • You must be willing to fail.
  • It is possible to take a productive brand and break it by doing too much.
  • Labor is a finite resource.
  • Online you must have dynamite heads, images and information.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Today's Boot Camp!

The ASBPE/MAP Boot Camp begins today at 11:30 a.m. at they Wyndham just off of I-435 and Metcalf Ave. We're excited to be able to bring such an excellent slate of knowledgeable speakers. If you're looking to brighten your headlines and captions, make your print and web content work with each other and freshen up your editing skills, this is the workshop to attend.

If you want to come but haven't registered, your best bet is to call Amy Fischbach at (913) 967-1807 before 10:30 a.m. You can also come to the Wyndham and we'll do all we can to fit you in. We don't want anyone to miss out!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Early Bird Gets a Discount on the Boot Camp Registrations

Don't miss your opportunity to reserve your spot for the 2006 Magazine Boot Camp at the early bird rate. To make it easier for our attendees to sign up for the event, we will be accepting credit card registrations this year. Please write the cardholder's name, type of card, expiration date, and amount to be charged on the registration form and sign it. You can then fax it to Amy Fischbach, KC ASBPE president, at 913-514-6611.

We will be accepting early bird registrations until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Send in your registration form and check by that date to receive the special pricing of $70 for members and $85 for non-members, or fax your form to Amy if you are using a credit card payment.
As a special bonus, the companies that sign up five or more employees will only have to pay the member rate for all of their attendees.

The event is sponsored by the Kansas City chapter of the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) and the Missouri Association of Publications (MAP).
We will be offering a magazine design critique during the networking breaks and a magazine swap this year, so remember to bring copies of your magazine to the workshop.

Here are the details.

11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19

Wyndham Garden Hotel, 7000 W. 108th St., Overland Park, KS 66211 (The Wyndham is located just north of I-435 on the east side of Metcalf Ave.)

11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Introduction, luncheon and keynote
Speaker: Joe Sweeney, editor-in-chief and publisher of Ingram’s magazine in Kansas City

12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Topic: Brushing Up on AP Style and Advanced Editing Techniques
Speaker: Ron Johnson, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications for Kansas State University (He will also offer design critiques during the breaks, so bring copies of your magazine!)

1:45 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Networking break and magazine design critique

2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Topic: Writing Brighter Headlines and Captions
Speaker: Don Ranly, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-Columbia

3 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Networking break and magazine design critique

3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Topic: How to Expand Your Web Coverage Without Cannibalizing Your Print Publication
Speaker: Larry Lannon, e-media director of content for Ascend Media

4:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closing and magazine swap (please bring 10 copies of your magazine to share)

Coming in from out of town? Rooms are available for $79 at the Wyndham. Call the Wyndham at (913) 383-2550, and ask for the Magazine Boot Camp discount.

Early bird registration is $70 for members and $85 for non-members.
Late registration is $80 for members and $95 for non-members.
Download the registration form attached to this e-mail, fill it out with your pertinent information, and include it with your check made out to the Kansas City chapter of the ASBPE to reserve your spot.
Please send your RSVP forms and payment to:
Amy Fischbach
9800 Metcalf Ave.
Overland Park, KS 66212

Call Amy Fischbach, ASBPE Kansas City chapter president, at (913) 967-1807. You can also visit the Kansas City chapter blog at www.asbpekc.blogspot.com or the MAP Web site at www.missouripublications.com.

Thank you to our sponsors!

*PR Newswire
*Prism Business Media
*Ascend Media
*Vance Publishing

*Modern Litho
*Ovid Bell Press

Monday, September 25, 2006

Breaking news

In Paul Conley's latest blog post, he writes about the links to advertisers in article text on Mediaweek's website. This is where the story started this morning, but it continues to unfold. You can read all about it in "Mediaweek blurs the lines between ads, editorial."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sign up for Boot Camp!

Join the Kansas City chapter of the ASBPE and the Missouri Association of Publications for the second annual Magazine Boot Camp. (Here's a PDF of the registration form.)

11:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19

Wyndham Garden Hotel, 7000 W. 108th St., Overland Park, KS 66211 (Click here for a map. The Wyndham is located just north of I-435 on the east side of Metcalf Ave.)

The sessions
Keynote: Joe Sweeney, editor in chief and publisher of Ingram’s magazine in Kansas City

Brushing Up on AP Style and Advanced Editing Techniques: Ron Johnson, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications for Kansas State University (He will also offer design critiques during the breaks, so bring copies of your magazine!)

Writing Brighter Headlines and Captions: Don Ranly, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-Columbia

How to Expand Your Web Coverage Without Cannibalizing Your Print Publication: Prescott Shibles, vice president of online development for Prism Business Media

And we'll have a magazine swap, so bring 10 copies of your publication to share.

Coming in from out of town?
Rooms are available for $79 at the Wyndham. Call the Wyndham at (913) 383-2550, and ask for the Magazine Boot Camp discount.

Early bird registration by Oct. 2
$70 for members and $85 for non-members.

Late registration
$80 for members and $95 for non-members.

Registration form
Download the registration form and reserve your spot!

Call Amy Fischbach, ASBPE Kansas City chapter president at (913) 967-1807.

  • Weren't able to make it to last year's Boot Camp? Read the meeting recap for a taste of what you missed (then sign up for this year's workshop).
  • Become an ASBPE member.
  • Become a MAP member.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Editor's Digest (#8)

For this edition of Editor's Digest, we'll focus on the ASBPE National Conference. Here's what's being said on the web.

On the future:
Crain says journalists must learn to deliver across variety of media at ASBPE keynote by Sean Callahan at BtoBOnline (For all the forecasting and advice given by Rance Crain's speech, check out my article in the Sept./Oct. 2006 ASBPE newsletter, Editor's Note.)

On ethics:

On blogging:

The awards:
To read more about the ASBPE National Conference on the ASBPEkc blog, click here.

Launch: TABPI forum for international pubs

From: ASBPE Boston Blog: Discussion Board for International B2B Pubs Launched

Trade, Association and Business Publications International has launched a discussion forum. Although ASBPE has its own forum for B2B editors, TABPI's differs in that it's specifically geared to editors and writers at international and foreign-language business publications, whether published in the U.S. or abroad.

The forum is open to anyone in B2B publishing. Registration is free.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Meeting recap: Put the web to work

Effective ways to build your Internet presence
By Jody Shee

Your budget may be tight, and your editors may groan at the thought of adding online responsibilities, but once they adjust, it’s not very challenging, and it’s necessary for a publication to thrive.

The younger generation automatically turns to the Internet for information. When they become the next business leaders, publications can’t afford not to have a strong presence on the web. Online product accounts for only 10 percent of The Kansas City Star’s revenues, but it makes up 90 percent of the daily newspaper’s growth, says Rick Babson, online business editor. He was one of two panelists at the recent Kansas City chapter meeting of the ASBPE on “Putting the web to work.”

Though he feels like The Star is in its infancy with the web, Babson has plans for the paper to compete with television news programs as reporters are equipped with video cameras to capture stories and interviews for the web. The Star has built a small room in which to record video programs and eventually will produce a daily morning business report for its website. It has entered into an agreement with a local television station and former television news anchor to go out and shoot stories for the television station, which also will appear on The Star’s site, he says.

Content Ideas
The following are other ways the panelists suggest building Web content, many of which can be used to draw attention to your print product:
  1. Podcasts work better for some topics than for others. Babson says he’s found that technology and entertainment Podcasts are more popular than general business topics.
  2. Blogs are a good way to connect with readers and drive traffic to print editions, Babson says.
  3. A breaking news section is important for publications that serve as industry news leaders. Babson notes that you can include an initial few paragraphs about the story and refer readers to the next print edition for more details. Then, in the print edition, tell readers they can find updates on your website.
  4. Lengthy documents and reports that you can’t include in print are perfect for your website, Babson says. You can refer to these documents in your print edition. These could include complete meeting reports or legal papers.
  5. Electronic newsletters are popular and allow you to track results, but make sure you do more with your newsletters than provide links to stories. “You need to have a plan. You need to deliver editorial product. ‘Talk’ to people on a daily basis, don’t just say, ‘Here it is. Go get it,’” says Susan Robinson, director of content management for Sosland Publishing, Kansas City, Mo.
  6. Offer digital replicas of your print publications. “Weekly magazines are victims of the post office,” Robinson says, adding that international readers will appreciate receiving the digital version in a timely manner. Plus, you can track how it is read. Find a vendor that helps with digital replicas.
  7. Sell access to research reports, including charts and graphs. “People love that to drop into PowerPoint presentations. We make PowerPoint graphics available,” Robinson says.
  8. Make photo galleries with captions. Robinson notes that readers love it, and it’s a way for you to use the many photos you can’t include in print. The gallery adds a human element to technical publications.
  9. Offer article archives and sell access to nonsubscribers who are doing research, Robinson suggests.

Make it work
Before you go crazy with online ideas, Robinson offers these suggestions, many learned through trial and error.
  • Serve your readers, not the technology. “Using every bell and whistle on the website is not sustainable,” she says. Remember that you are an information provider first. Think of the best way to serve your readers through the various media. Content, not “being cool,” is king.
  • Have a plan. “ ‘If you build it, they will come’ does not work in our business,” Robinson says. To build revenues with your website, you have to know where you want to go with it.
  • Develop an editorial calendar for your website. And have it go along with your print edition using much of the same content.
  • Repackage some of your content for the Web. For example, compile statistics or profiles.
  • Cross-promote your print and Web content to draw traffic to both. It’s not enough to mention your website on a banner or in a house ad in your print product. Include cross references in as many stories as possible.

Dallas/Fort Worth chapter blog started

The Dallas/Fort Worth chapter now has it's own blog. Check it out at http://asbpedfw.blogspot.com.

In my post announcing the Washington, D.C., blog a few weeks ago, I talked about the migration of the chapter pages on the national ASBPE website to blogs, which will be maintained and updated by chapter board members. So far, Kansas City; Boston; Washington, D.C.; and now Dallas/Fort Worth have taken on the blogging challenge. The next chapter slated to launch a blog: The Twin Cities.

Monday, August 28, 2006

KC to host national AWC conference

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California; Karen Elliott House, former Dow Jones senior vice president and Pulitzer Prize winner; John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center and retired publisher of the Nashville Tennesseean; Anita Parran, associate state director for Missouri AARP; and many others are coming to Kansas City in September for the national professional conference of the Association for Women in Communications.

The annual professional conference will be Sept. 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center, Kansas City, Mo.

This national event features workshops offering skills to help communicators and communications entrepreneurs, sessions to keep you up to date on technology, networking opportunities and discussions on the First Amendment.

For more information and to register, visit www.womcom.org and click on the conference logo. Or phone conference co-chair Pris Chansky at (816) 392-3642, e-mail evybdyneeds@hotmail.com.

(And to learn more about the Kansas City chapter of the AWC, visit http://www.kcwomcom.org/about/about.htm.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Affordable magazine critique service launched

Note: This post originally appeared on the ASBPE Boston Blog ("TABPI Launches Magazine Critique Service; Submissions Due Sept. 22")

ASBPE's international counterpart, Trade, Association, and Business Publications International (TABPI) has launched an interesting service--the first of its kind that I've heard of. It's called the Magazine Critique Service (MCS), and was conceived of as a medium-priced option for smaller (or just limited-budget) magazines that may not be able afford outside consultants to help them carry out a full redesign.

At a cost of $575, the Standard Critique gets your publication examined by three reviewers, who'll provide specific feedback on the magazine's editorial and design. TABPI gives a report to the editor, who can thoroughly review the results with the editorial and design staff. Sample reports are here (80KB PDF) and here (44KB PDF).

TABPI is also offering a Premium Critique service at $975. With this option, one of the three reviewers is a TABPI-approved editorial consultant, who'll conduct a one-hour conference call with you and your staff. You'll also get a written report.

The TABPI web site has a list of some of the reviewers, reproduced here:
Be aware: There's a deadline. To make the program feasible, it will be offered for only a few months of each year. This year's submissions must be received on or about Sept. 22, 2006. TABPI says publications should get their reports about 8 to 10 weeks after receipt of the submission.

Complete information about the MCS, including answers to frequently asked questions, a submission form, and links to the sample critiques, are available on the TABPI website.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Be a judge for the 2007 Azbees

The ASBPE is recruiting B2B professionals to be judges of the 2007 ASBPE Awards of Excellence (Azbees). Interested? Fill out this form and e-mail this form to info@asbpe.org, or fax it to (630) 510-4501 by August 31, 2006.

Judging requirements
  • Must be currently working (includes freelancers) or retired from a B2B publication--minimum of five years' experience in B2B.
  • Must be willing to judge 10 to 300 entries, depending on the number of entries in your assigned category.
  • Must be willing to commit the time necessary to judge the categories appropriately.
  • Must be willing to judge your category during a one-month period between March and April 2007.
  • Must be willing to judge entries objectively.
  • Most categories are judged by at least two people. Discussion with second judge is recommended, but must be available to review with second judge if asked.
  • Must be willing to write a short description (five sentences max) of the positive elements of your top five entries in each circulation category (over 80,000, under 80,000).
  • Every entry must be evaluated and given a score.
  • To avoid conflicts of interest, no person may judge a category in which his or her magazine has entered.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

August meeting: Putting the Web to work

With advertising revenues down, is your publication looking for ways to increase profits through online projects? The Kansas City chapter of the American Society of Business Publication Editors invites you to attend our Aug. 24 meeting, where you'll learn some great ideas on how to create, manage and promote successful Web sites, podcasts, Webcasts and other online projects.

Rick Babson, assistant business editor for The Kansas City Star
Sue Robinson, director of content management for Sosland Publishing

Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Date: Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006

Location: Private room at JJs Restaurant, 910 West 48th St. The restaurant is located just off of the Country Club Plaza. For further directions, click here. Attendees are encouraged to park in the lot behind JJs.

Cost: $20 for members, $25 for non-members

RSVP: To reserve your spot for the luncheon, e-mail ASBPEkc+RSVP@gmail.com or call Amy Fischbach, KC ASBPE chapter president, at 913-967-1807 by Monday, Aug. 21.

We hope to see you there!

Sign up for ASBPEkc updates

If you want to stay updated on what's going on with the Kansas City ASBPE chapter, you can sign up at http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=38036. When you subscribe to FeedBlitz, you will receive e-mail updates anytime there is a new post on our Kansas City chapter blog.

2006 KC ASBPE-MAP Magazine Boot Camp

Mark your calendars for the second annual Magazine Boot Camp. The half-day workshop will take place during the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 19.

The speaker lineup
The early bird rate will be $70 for MAP and ASBPE members and $85 for non-members.

The venue and other speakers and topics will be announced soon. Don’t miss your opportunity to brush up on your skills and network with other area B2B publishing professionals.

The newest blog on the ASBPE block

Congratulations to the Washington, D.C., chapter on its recently launched blog.

For almost a year, the ASBPE has been experimenting with blogging at the chapter level. Martha Spizzri, the national web editor and the vice president of the Boston chapter, has been working hard to get the ball rolling. Martha started a blog for her chapter and asked me to start a blog for the Kansas City chapter.

We've spent our time experimenting with posting styles and playing with the templates. And now Steve Roll, D.C. chapter president, is joining us in the blogosphere.

Visually, the D.C. blog features a blend of elements from the Boston and K.C. blogs. Please take a look and let us know what you think. These blogs are here to keep you informed about what's going on with your chapter as well as to provide you with a great resource with tips on how to do your job better.

ASBPE Boston blog
ASBPE Washingtion, D.C., blog
I highly recommend checking out the D.C. meeting recaps.
Let me know what you think of the ASBPEkc blog by sending an email to asbpekc@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Conference coverage: Digital publising

Digital magazines: Do they do more than just save circulation money?

Rebecca Fannin, editor of Digital Magazine News
Russell Haderer, vice president of international operations for BPA Worldwide
and an editor from Advertising Age

Summary: As postal costs continue to rise, digital editions save costs and allow immediate delivery to international subscribers. The BPA formed a task force of publishers and vendors to look at digital magazines and in December 2001, the BPA began reporting digital with print and auditing digital publications. In 2005, 20 consumer magazines reported digital magazines, and 200 B2B magazines had digital publications. Rebecca Fannin said digital magazines are easy to archive and retrieve and are available anywhere and anyplace. She said by sending out an enhanced PDF, it’s possible to instantly update text, and the cost is much lower than publishing a print publication.

Survey results on digital publications
  • Reader had a 10 to 1 preference in sharing articles in digital rather than print.
  • There was a 5 to 1 subscription renewal preference for digital publications.
  • 46 percent of readers decreased their use of or didn’t use the print edition.
  • The most popular age group of readers is 45-49 years old.
  • When asked how many of the last four issues that they read, 61.2 percent read the digital edition and 63 percent read the print publication. About 20 percent of the readers spent an hour reading the digital edition and 27 percent spent an hour reading the print issue.
Case study on Advertising Age
  • Makes full contents available online each Sunday
  • Attracts new readers who don’t want to read the print issue and exposes an 18-year-old franchise to a new audience.
  • 5,000 subscribers with 8.5 percent international readers
  • When they did a survey, 57 percent said they liked that they could access it anytime, 42 percent enjoyed the earlier delivery, 51 percent wanted to search the contents online and 47 percent were looking to access back issues. About 79 percent were satisfied with the product.
  • In 2005, the magazine had 8,389 unique visitors, 43 percent single views and more than 52,000 page views. When it started to include video in its digital publication, it got 20 percent more return visitors and 63 percent more page views.

Position wanted: Experienced intern looking for assistant editor position

Allison Sebolt graduated in May from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism with an emphasis in magazine editing. During her last semester, she was an editor at Vox magazine, a weekly city magazine that comes out with the Columbia Missourian. This summer she has been an editorial intern at Prism Business Media working on Electrical Wholesaling magazine. Her clips from these experiences demonstrate an ability to edit stories for both substantive and copyediting issues and an ability to report and write for a niche business audience.

Allison is currently looking for a full-time job at a publication in the Kansas City area. She enjoys writing and editing and would be interested in any type of position that involves either or both. If you are interested, please contact Allison via e-mail at allison.sebolt@gmail.com or by phone at 816-405-7786.

Links to the Job Bank (which can always be found on the navigation bar along the right side of this blog):

Monday, August 07, 2006

Conference coverage: Magazines of the Year

Magazine of the Year case studies

CSO: winner in the under 80,000 category
CSO, which goes out to chief security officers and has 27,000 print subscribers, launched in September 2002.

CSO’s secrets to success:
  • A strong staff—The magazine has excellent writers, reporters, editors and designers, says the chief editor. CSO has three designers, who spend time presenting the information graphically. He said it’s important to compensate employees well if a B2B publication wants to attract good people. The magazine has a twice-a-year review process and asks the employees what is energizing for them as writers and editors. CSO has eight editors, and four of them have been working together for the past five years.
  • Constant improvement—The magazine staff looks at covers for the past six months to make sure it’s not stuck in a rut and has idea meetings every two weeks.
  • The idea puddleCSO maintains a communal Word file, and the editors add ideas to it.
  • Readers are the sources—When interviewing CSOs for the magazine, reporters ask them what else is going on in their world and what their thoughts are on the magazine. They also try to talk to sources outside the security industry like psychology or finance professionals.
  • Include longer articlesCSO published an 8,000-word feature because the author was able to find a great story and then weave valuable lessons into it. The magazine also includes in-depth charts and graphs.
  • The surprise element—If you don’t surprise each other, you won’t surprise your readers.

Computerworld: winner in the over 80,000 category.
It has a weekly circulation with 180,050 print subscribers and 1.3 million online.

Computerworld’s tips:
  • Writers and editors are professional journalists, not professional technologists.
  • The publishing company has a strong corporate culture and recognizes people as its number one asset.
  • The magazine allows for flexibility in assignments based on specific talents.
  • Computerworld holds vendors accountable.
  • The publication conducts many editorial surveys and polls the attendees at trade shows.
  • The magazine tries not to break news in print but rather analyze the news after the fact.
  • Honors 100 CIOs each year with the Premier 100.
  • Never cuts back on the travel budget or loses sight of making funds available.
  • Interacts with readers by having them send in their funny stories. The ones that are chosen get T-shirts.
  • Its award-winning design team is big on practical takeaways.
  • As a result of its editorial excellence, one of its readers said the magazine knows what he is thinking. When he has something on his mind, he said he opens up the magazine, and Computerworld has a story about it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Conference coverage: Covers

Making covers noticed, read and useful

Speakers: Robert Ayers and John Johanek, Publication Design

Summary: Since 1986, Robert and John have designed 100 publications. Here is their four-point approach to award-winning design.
  1. Simplicity—Use clean images, pull out the color scheme of the image and use restraint when it comes to color.
  2. Strength—Use tight cropping and bold colors and don’t overlap your logo with a cover image unless your magazine is well established.
  3. Sizzle—Designers can suggest mood through typography. Cover lines need to be benefit oriented.
  4. Sophistication—You need to make sure all your cover lines are the same font and type size and use simplicity in fonts.
Other tips
  • What works well on a newsstand works well with B2B magazines .
  • Use buzz words in the cover lines.
  • The concept shouldn’t undermine the message.
  • Logos should explain what the magazine is all about and have a strong presence.
  • Logos should be on the left rather than the right.
  • If possible, try not to use skyboxes or any other elements that push the logo further down on the page.
  • Consider placing the mailing label on the back cover to allow for more creative design on the front cover.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Conference coverage: Convergence

Marketing myopia, journalism-style

Speaker: Rance Crain, president of Crain Communications and editor-in-chief of Advertising Age

Summary: Rance compared a magazine’s website to a worldwide TV station and encouraged publications to start up a TV program on their website and film reporters interviewing sources. Reporters need to become better marketers because they understand what their readers want. B2B magazines also need to understand that it’s possible to make as much money on the web as they do in print by organizing the sales force.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Conference coverage: Ethics

Resolving ethics issues: A town hall meeting

Rance Crain, president, Crain Communications and editor-in-chief of Advertising Age
Jeffrey Seglin, ethics consultant and professor of publishing at Emerson College
Portia Stewart, national vice president, former president of the Kansas City Chapter, and editor of Firstline
Roy Harris, national president and senior editor for CFO
Paul Heney, national past president and current president for TABPI

Summary: ASBPE conducted a survey on ethics and had a 43 percent response rate. The survey found that 40 percent of editors have low job satisfaction because they have less resources and more pressure from advertisers.

Advertising Age Case Study: By having integrity, a magazine can gain trust from its readers and have stronger ancillary products. Rance Crain said editorial excellence makes good business sense, and it’s critical to get as close to the facts as a magazine can get. He discussed an ethical issue at his own magazine, Advertising Age, in which the sales team sold a mock front page of its magazine to an advertiser. All the cover stories were about the advertiser and in similar fonts to the ones used by the magazine. The mock cover didn’t go out to regular readers, but it was distributed to 1,000 attendees at an industry event. The person responsible for approving the cover wrap was fired.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Conference coverage: Research and investigation

Covering public companies: Digging up the numbers and information that matter

Mark Skertic, business reporter for the Chicago Tribune and member of Investigative Reporters and Editors

Summary: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) serves as the investor’s advocate and gathers information for investors about publicly traded companies. The SEC makes public companies' information available on their websites, and reporters can go back 10 years to find certain company records and track its financial performance. Writers can find out such information as pay and benefit details, stock options, business backgrounds of board members and employees and details about lawsuits and what the company’s competitors are doing. They can also find out about what the shareholders want for the company by going to www.sec.gov.

Helpful websites: When Mark first started writing about public companies, he had to fly to Washington, D.C., and sit in a windowless room at a government building sifting through paper records. He can now search all the documents online at not only www.sec.gov, but also other websites such as 10Kwizard.com and freeedgar.com. To find court records, reporters can visit www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov and pay 8 cents a page to download court documents.

SEC Filings: Reporters need to know what to look for when searching through filings. Here's what to look for:
  • Proxy statements often tell which direction a company is going.
  • A company often files an 8K every time there is a major event such as a sale of assets, a change in management or a judgment in a major lawsuit.
  • When an investor buys more than 5 percent of the company’s stock, the company is required to file a 13D.
  • A Form 144 is for when an insider intends to sell shares.
  • While there’s no replacement for reading all of the SEC filings, reporters can often find valuable information in the footnotes because companies often think that if they put something in tiny type, people are less likely to read it.

ASBPE National Conference review

The ASBPE National Conference provided us with ample material to share with Kansas City Chapter members.

In the days that follow, look for posts from our chapter president, Amy Fischbach. She'll share the main points that she took away from the two-day event.

And I'll gather up the best coverage from the web, as well as add in a thought or two of my own.

Oh, and I can't forget the awards. Congratulations to all Azbee winners!

KC chapter president Amy Fischbach's conference coverage
Stay tuned; there's more to come!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

And the ASBPE Magazine of the Year finalists are...

In the under 80,000 circulation division, the finalists are:

In the 80,000 and over division, the finalists are:

The winner will be announced on July 20 at the Azbee Awards of Excellence banquet during the ASBPE’s National Editorial Conference.

What makes these 20 magazines great? The judges evaluated these pubs on:

  • Writing, reporting, and editing.
  • Usefulness to the reader.
  • Editorial organization.
  • Interaction with readers.
  • Layout and design.
Congrats to the finalists. And for the rest of us, I included the links to the pubs' websites for a reason: Ideas to inspire changes to improve the publication I work on.

Monday, June 26, 2006

ASBPE's new book: Journalism that matters

Note: This post originally apeared on the ASBPE Boston Blog ("ASBPE book highlights hard-hitting reporting from B2B mags").

ASBPE will launch its second book,* Journalism that Matters: How B2B Editors Change the Industries They Cover, July 21st at the its two-day National Editorial Conference in Chicago.

The book looks in depth at how editors of business-to-business publications drive change in the industries they cover, with plenty of examples showing how of some great reporting was done. For instance:

There are 17 stories in the book, all by ASBPE members or from publications that have won Azbee or Tabbie awards.

For the launch, ASBPE immediate past president Rob Freedman, co-editor of the book with ASBPE D.C.'s Steven Roll, will discuss the book's origins and goals. Tom Freeman, editor of Legal Business, will recount the story behind the magzine's reporting on the U.K. court system.

Investigative reporting will also be the topic of another conference session. Chicago Tribune business reporter Mark Skertic will be the speaker at the session "Covering Public Companies: Digging Up the Numbers and Information That Matter." Skertic, a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, will tell where to dig for information, including hidden information in SEC filings.

*ASBPE's first book was Best Practices of the Business Press, published in 2004.