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Jan. 17, 2021
“20/20 vision” is considered pretty close to perfect – which is fitting, because despite all the events of 2020, the one thing I definitely couldn’t complain about was my view.
Thanks to a little creative office-sharing for much of the year, I worked from the fifth floor of The Carpenter Building, which sits in the middle of downtown on Phillips Avenue and looks out over the skyline.
If I looked to my left, I could see the Argus Leader Media building, where I found both a love of business journalism and the motivation to create a way to bring locally owned media to this community.
If I looked straight out and down toward Dakota Avenue, I could see Carnegie Town Hall, where I spent hundreds of City Council meetings when I worked in the mayor’s office and experienced this city from an entirely different perspective.
When I needed a reminder of what grounds me – particularly amidst the challenges of reporting during the pandemic – I could look out at the horizon to the northwest and see St. Joseph Cathedral.
And when I needed the push to do what I’m about to do next week, I only had to look straight out the window.
That’s where I would see the Old Courthouse Museum – and, more specifically, its clock tower.
It’s always moving, and it matters.
The right move at the right time makes the difference – in life and in business.
And I think it’s time to offer something new to this community and potentially beyond.
In March, it will be four years since I launched SiouxFalls.Business. That product has exceeded whatever expectation I might have had for it, growing digital traffic more than 50 percent year over year in 2020. We plan to keep building on its success as the amount of and appetite for business news keeps accelerating.
But while you probably associate me with publishing SiouxFalls.Business, my actual business is called Align Content Studio – and for a reason.
From the start, I anticipated running multiple content brands, when I feel like they “align” with the needs of readers and advertising partners.
And hopefully, that’s going to be the case with the product we’ll be launching next week.
Four years doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but the pace of change has been powerful. We’re not the same community we were four years ago. We don’t necessarily consume information in the same way or look for the same thing from those providing it.
So the product I’m bringing to the market is different from anything that exists today. It’s designed to reflect where I believe we are at as a community, what we are looking for in local content and how many would prefer to consume that content.
I’ll ultimately let the product speak for itself, but here’s a glimpse of where I’m going with it and who might enjoy it:
If you believe a well-told story can inspire, enlighten, offer an escape or motivate action, this is for you.
If you believe we need an environment with less polarization and more humanization, this is for you.
If you miss what social media used to be like – a look inside the lives of those you care about and content you wanted to like or share – this is for you.
And before I give any more away, if you’d like to be the first to know about what we’ve been up to, click here to sign up for a – what else – virtual launch party we’ll be hosting at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26. It should be fun, with a mix of special guests, games, prizes, hopefully a bit of breaking news and, of course, the launch itself.
I am so grateful that enough businesses once again have believed in my vision and ability to execute it, supporting this new product with enough sponsorship so I could launch it the way I envisioned.
One thing I’m most proud of in business is how nearly every original sponsor-partner of SiouxFalls.Business remains with us today, and many newer partners have now been with us multiple years. Those are not transactional advertising relationships to me; they’re strategic content partnerships. And as much as I’m excited about the new brand and the content that’s ahead, I’m equally energized because of how it’s built to make our marketing opportunities even more effective.
I wouldn’t be a good businessperson if I didn’t encourage you to reach out if you’re intrigued enough to explore what this could mean for your business. So email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
But back to that whole concept of time. Incredibly, I’ve now marked 25 years since I reported my first story — though, let’s be clear, I did start extremely young! I’ve also been blessed with unique opportunities in Sioux Falls outside of journalism that have shaped my understanding of both my community and my profession. Looking out that fifth floor office window, surrounded by reminders of how I got here, my vision of what I should do next sharpened.
And the clock in the distance kept pushing me: Get it done. Create the right product at the right time.
Well, it’s (mostly) done. So, it’s time to launch – and I hope you’ll come with us for the ride!
The right move at the right time makes the difference – in life and in business. And I think it’s time to offer something new to this community.