About Us


Thank you, Anne and Paul G, for taking care of Shout & About the last two weeks while I was on vacation. Paul discussed what makes understanding the “why” behind what we do so empowering. He gave examples of how that might play out in practice – when designing an event or adding a new product. I’ve not read Simon Sinek nor listened to more than a few of his podcasts, but I agree that without the “why”, a business can devolve into an unsustainable cash grab or a make-work project. It’s also not much fun.

Paul got me thinking about the larger “why” of Annex. Why are we here? Is it to make money? Sure. As Anne pointed out, without a consistently strong bottom-line, companies don’t invest in training, strong benefits programs, new business lines, acquisitions or the right tech. But financial success is a result, not the underlying “why” that drives a modern business. And without a “why” above that, short-term convenience can trump long-term sustainability.

Is our “why” to be the “leading brand in each of our markets”? I’m not sure what that means in an omni-channel universe. Also, why would we set our compass according to the actions of other organizations over which we have no control? And what about our 25+ markets where we lack direct competitors? What drives those teams? So no, competition is no longer a useful “why”.

I’ve alluded to this before, but our “why” is both simple and daunting. It is to build and grow strong communities in our niches through our content, our technical expertise and myriad relationships. When done right, those communities span a wide range of demographics (and thus many channels) and include both our core audiences (what we used to call readers) and those who supply and support them (advertisers, associations, researchers, government).

That community helps guide us where to go next. They both consume and help to create our content. Because of that, we are at the centre of the communities we help build – not because we assume that spot, but because we’ve earned it through delivering the right content over the right channels to the right audiences at the right time with the right level of service. And we do it time and time again. We are the industry’s information gatherers, its network, its matchmakers, its communicators and documenters.

If we do that, take care of the numbers, and invest in all the pieces Anne mentioned, the rest follows. We will have sustainable financials. We will by default be the preferred media brand in the sector. Industry members will want to work with us and access our various audiences. People will love helping us create content, whether in the magazines, online or at our events. And we’ll have fun.

Of course, some of this is aspirational, and it will always be a work in progress. Using this “why” as a compass also means that our rules and decisions will at times differ from others in the B2B space or other companies you’ve worked at. That’s OK too. Just do good work, be good to work with, and help your community grow. With that, we’ll be just fine.

Scott Jamieson, President & COO
sjamieson@annexbusinessmedia.com; mobile: 519-410-4000

Virtual Trolls

Great to see all this Working Together. To see shout outs of a different kind, visit The Wall.

To Alison Keba and Brooke, for Working Together
From Elizabeth – “Brooke and Alison worked together to make my first production cycle on Rock to Road really smooth! Thank you so much for all your hard work, your explanations, advice and help during the last two weeks. I appreciate you taking all my calls and emails! You've made this process easy and made the issue look great! Thanks so much!”

To Maria C, for Working Together
From Michelle S – “Thank you Maria for facilitating one of our three Choice 5 discussions with the editors. Thank you for putting in the extra time to learn and understand the content needed to lead an engaging discussion with your group. Also, you taught us about a new feature in Zoom using the whiteboard and sticky notes when sharing ideas in a group session.”

To Monica, for Working Together
From Trina – “Monica was super quick and helping to take over my emails when I lost power for the day. Great knowing that we have each other’s back in a time of need. Thank you Monica!”

Team News

New print plant operator
Welcome to Amy Andrews, our newest member in the print plant. Amy is a machine operator and will begin her training on the folder. Having grown up in Norfolk County on a hobby farm, being an animal lover comes naturally to Amy. Her four-legged fur babies are made up of a Corgi named Goli (which is short for Goliath!), an Australian Shepard/Huskie called Ozzy and three cats – Sassy, Sunny and Skittles. These five keep her busy in her spare time. She likes to be outdoors and enjoys fishing. If she is spending time indoors – she can be found in the kitchen, cooking and baking.

What's Working

Having a voice
Thanks to all for the very high turnout in our recent surveys. A while back we asked for feedback on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) status, and received a phenomenal 80%+ response rate. Pero and Michelle are now working with Gerald Bramm on analysing the data. We saw a similar response rate regarding our recent Work 4.0 office day preference survey, and are now looking at that data by office location to help us find the best options. Thank you for your input and stay tuned on both fronts.

Lead Driver How-To’s
Our Lead Driver wizard Barb A has shared “5 Steps to a Successful Lead Driver Campaign Launch” and I in turn share them here.
  1. Once a lead driver has been sold, inform Barb Adelt and the client will be added to the schedule.
  2. Barb Adelt will facilitate the Kick-Off Meetings with you and the client to go over the Check List. If it’s a Lead Driver Plus, Omnichannel representatives will be included.
  3. We will work with the client to manage/set realistic timelines to ensure deliverability.
  4. Click HERE to check the Lead Driver Schedule to see what months are open to book the Lead Driver. A maximum of 2 Lead Driver campaigns for the same brand are allotted for each month.
  5. Ask your client to provide feedback on how the final leads performed. This will help determine what works and where improvement is needed.

Lobbying and preparing
Many of you have no doubt heard of Canada’s Bill C-18 and the surprisingly harsh reaction of both Meta and Google. This includes threats to remove links to Canadian news sources, which would be a non-event as far as Meta is concerned as it represents less than 2% of our traffic. Google would be a different matter. In response we have been making our concerns known to Heritage Canada, both directly and through Magazines Canada.

Magazines Canada has also had high-level conversations with Google to make our unique situation clear and to discuss some possible solutions specific to magazines. And finally, our own digital department has been looking at other ways to drive website traffic, some of which we may adopt even once (or perhaps if) Google and Heritage Canada reach an expected compromise. We never like to waste a good crisis.

My Annex Facts

Did you know that My Annex cheat sheets include a folder full of event sell sheet samples. No need to re-invent the wheel – just wander through this treasure trove, pick one you like, and adjust the rates and visuals accordingly.

Michelle's Covey Corner

The Franklin Covey course, The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity includes a tech handbook on how to maximize the functionality of Outlook for planning, organizing and staying on task. As we are all working towards using our Outlook calendars for scheduling our meetings with others, big rocks (aka “projects”, “planning”, etc.), tasks, etc. it is important to schedule your vacation/time away from work in your calendar too. If you don’t plan it, there is a good chance it might not happen, other items might take over or get planned in this time frame. Putting it in your calendar ensures you stick to your plan and get that much needed rest away from work to recharge and refresh.

How to do it:
  1. Schedule your time away as you would any appointment/meeting in your calendar.
  2. Choose the date or date range.
  3. For “Show As” choose “Out of Office” as the setting.
  4. *Caution – if you choose “All Day” instead of a specific time frame, outlook will automatically default to showing your availability as “Free”. Make sure to choose “Out of Office”.
  5. Don’t forget to add your out of office message during the time when you are away.