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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Upfront: Digital Strategy

When I started at Business North Carolina this past summer, my mandate was to develop a digital strategy for the magazine that expanded our coverage and helped our readers.

Here’s what we’ve done and where we’re headed:

The first thing we did was survey our readers, particularly the 17,000-plus subscribers
to our popular “Daily Digest” newsletter, and those tuned into our “N.C. Tribune” newsletter, which covers political-related news of interest to business leaders.

We found a committed audience that loved what we were doing. Specifically, they appreciated how we covered the entire state and not just one region. 

I also surveyed what other statewide business news publications were doing and talked with a few of them. In particular, Vickie Chachere of Florida Trend was helpful in providing insight into the multiple weekly newsletters that it creates. We also examined what publications were charging, as we did not want to lose the large clientele that we’d developed with “Daily Digest.”

The first step was to make some changes to our website. Previously, our businessnc.com website featured content from the latest issue of the print magazine. Unless you scrolled down, you’d miss our daily content. When returning to the website anytime during the next month, you’d see the same content, not breaking business news.

This fall, we put the daily news content at the top of the page, giving readers new stories almost every time they visit. That change has resulted in 50% to 60% monthly increases in page views. 

We’re also doing more with that daily news content on our social media, particularly Twitter/X and LinkedIn, where our readers are most likely found. If you’re not following Business North Carolina at those outlets, I’d highly recommend you do so for alerts about breaking business news.

The next phase of the strategy is now rolling out with three newsletters that address the need for news and information in areas that we believe are underserved. 

In mid-January, we introduced “NC Military Report,” a weekly paid newsletter that covers the military industry in the state. The military’s role in the North Carolina economy is often overlooked. But according to the N.C. Department of Commerce, the military supports roughly 11% of the state’s employment. That’s 653,000 jobs in North Carolina, more than $49 billion in state personal income, and nearly $80 billion in gross state product. 

Next up, in February, will be another paid newsletter, “Daily Digest Extra,” delivered twice a week in the afternoon with breaking business news. We didn’t want to mess with the success of “Daily Digest” by converting that to a paid model, so “Extra” will give those who subscribe immediate insight into breaking business news.

And later this year will come “Markets Insider,” a paid newsletter covering investing in public and private companies around the state. It will be news and analysis to those who want coverage of the companies, and who need information to make investment decisions.

We believe these three newsletters will provide a service that will aid North Carolina’s business and economic leaders, and provide content in areas that other media aren’t covering extensively.

You can subscribe to these newsletters by clicking on the Newsletters tab at the top of our website. Please let us know how we’re doing. Our job is to give you the best news and information you need about North Carolina businesses and its economy.  

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In the 2024 Class of Legal Elite, incorrect spellings or locations were
listed with these attorneys: 

Bankruptcy: Richard “Trey” Rayburn, McGuireWoods, Charlotte.  Business: Nathan M. Hull, Hull & Chandler, Charlotte; Christopher Kouri, Maynard Nexsen, Charlotte.  Construction: Eric H. Biesecker, Maynard Nexsen, Greensboro.  Criminal: Daniel D. Adams, Brooks Pierce, Raleigh.  Employment: Bridget A. Blinn-Spears, Maynard Nexsen, Raleigh; Edward S. Schenk III, Williams Mullen, Raleigh.  Family: Bradley C. “Brad” Jones, Parker Bryan Family Law, Morehead City; Joshua L. Finney, Sodoma Law, Charlotte. Corporate Counsel: Kathryn Twiddy, AutoCruitment, Raleigh.  Litigation: Sammy Naji, Triangle Legal, Cary. Tax and Estate Planning: Robert D. Lyerly Jr., Maynard Nexsen, Charlotte. Real Estate: Robert May Jr., Banzet, Thompson, Styers & May, Warrenton; Hank Harrawood, Knipp Law Office, Belmont;  David W. Murray, Murray Law Firm, Charlotte; Tonya B. Powell, Maynard Nexsen, Raleigh; Scott Andrew Schaff, Womble, Bond Dickinson, Winston-Salem.

Chris Roush
Chris Roush
Chris Roush is executive editor of Business North Carolina. He can be reached at croush@businessnc.com.

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