SBT wins national awards for editorial excellence

Small Business Times won two national awards at the recent Association of Area Business Publications (AABP) 2004 Summer Conference in Chicago. SBT’s Nov. 14, 2003, issue won a silver award in the AABP Editorial Excellence Awards program for the "Best Front Page" category. The award-winning SBT entry featured a cover story headlined, "Will your employees conceal and carry?" The report focused on the workplace implications of a bill that would allow people to conceal and carry handguns in Wisconsin.

The cover image depicted an office employee bearing a concealed weapon. Just days after the publication, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle cited research from the SBT report in his justification for vetoing the bill. The state legislature’s attempt to override the veto failed.

In describing the SBT cover report, the contest judges stated, "The editors confront a tough issue of carry and conceal and have conceptualized a strong cover designed to grab readers’ attention. The sight of a professional carrying gun holsters defies stereotypes. The secondary teases blend well on the cover."

The cover was designed and produced by SBT art director Shelly Paul. The news story was written by SBT executive editor Steve Jagler.

The gold award for the category went to Baton Rouge Business Report, and the bronze award went to Crain’s Chicago Business.

SBT also won a silver award in the "Best Overall Design: Small Tabloids" category. The judges cited SBT’s Oct. 3, 2003, issue, which featured a story headlined, "Manufacturing a global strategy." The cover featured a report about how former chief executive officer Harold Smethills was transforming Menasha Corp. to compete on the global stage. The cover image featured Smethills and a globe.

In describing the SBT design, contest judges stated, "Clear, consistent design and a good hierarchy of typographic styles make this publication inviting and easy to read. There is a liveliness about it as a result of the many entry points on the pages. There is a demonstrated attempt in each issue to provide a lively and engaging cover, and the publication uses an attractive, contemporary color palette."

SBT is designed by production manager Vanessa Serkowski and art director Shelly Paul.

"We have a strong commitment to good design," said SBT publisher Dan Meyer. "When the publication looks attractive, it catches the reader’s eye and is user-friendly. We try to have a strong combination of good design, to help bring readers in, and high-quality content of exclusive, informative and pertinent business news articles. The combination of the two makes for a highly appealing publication, which is what our readers expect from us."

The gold award for the design category went to MaineBiz, and the bronze award was won by Inside Business of Norfolk, Va.

The contest featured 562 entries from 52 publications. The entries were judged by faculty members of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

The AABP Summer Conference and Editorial Excellence Awards program were held in Chicago July 15-17.

"The purpose of the AABP competition is to encourage a high level of journalistic performance and service to communities by recognizing editorial excellence and outstanding visual presentation in regional business publications," said AABP executive director C. James Dowden.

The AABP is a nonprofit national organization representing more than 80 independent magazine and newspaper members in the United States, Canada, Australia and Mexico. Further information about the organization and the awards program is available at

July 23, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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