August 1, 2013

Editor’s letter as published in the August issue of Pet Age.

We talk a lot about community at Pet Age, and what it means to be a part of the pet industry.

Some of it is delivering the best industry news, resources and information for our readers, but what does it mean to go beyond that? What does it mean to really be a supportive member of the community?

I’ve come to think it means connecting, conversations and compassion.

Much of this business, as most media outlets, is about relationship building.

When you are a reporter covering a specific beat, like crime for example, you get to know the players involved well, and they eventually become good source for your articles, because they begin to trust you.

At my first journalism job, I used to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies for the police department in the town I covered and deliver them weekly.

When you are at a national magazine like Pet Age, where you are covering an entire industry that literally spans the world, it can be difficult to do that.

But, building those connections and relationships, having those conversation and getting to know others in the industry on a personal level is something we still strive to do.

In order to bring you the best publication possible we want to talk with retailers, manufacturers, PR representatives, sales managers, animal experts, veterinarians, conference planners, trade association presidents, consumers, bloggers and anyone else who contributes to the pet industry.

One way we try to accomplish this, is by trying to attend as many pet industry related events as possible.

This includes our entire team, from our pubisher and account executives, to our assistant editor and me.

So, for example, this month I’ll be at the National Reptile Breeders Expo, BarkWorld and the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America.

And, I want to meet you.

Yes, you.

I want to talk with you about the pet industry, I want to know what you like and don’t like. If you’re a speaker, I want to talk to you about the trends you’re seeing.

If you’re the organizer, I want to know how this show compares to past ones and what it means for the future. If you’re a national sales manager, I want to hear about what you are seeing and experiencing out in the field on your sales calls.

If you’re a retailer, I want to know what is selling and not selling in your stores, and how the latest policies in Washington are impacting you. If you’re a consumer, what are you looking for when buying products for your red-footed tortoise or reef tank?

Connecting on that level, by having a conversation and having the compassion to want to learn more about you, is what separates our staff from the rest.

We care about bringing you the very best, and to do that, we need to get to know, well, you.

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