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February 2002
A Story Unfolds ...
By John Paul Galles

     Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have mentors who have guided and counseled me about business, community, politics, and life in general. They have offered their help and support in many ways. While they seldom asked for anything in return, I wanted to give back…be helpful and be supportive to them and to others in appreciation of their efforts. Now, as a publisher, I have the opportunity to be helpful in my own way and to mentor to others. In fact, here at Greater Charlotte Biz, we see our primary mission as helping businesses in the greater Charlotte region to grow. Our number one reason for existing is to help these businesses achieve new levels of success.
     Every month we publish Greater Charlotte Biz, I hear from people we’ve published stories about. Often, their feedback is overwhelming. They tell me how much response they received as a result of their story and about the new business opportunities they have discovered. Their response has always been positive. They receive phone calls, letters, faxes, e-mails, and face-to-face comments on the street or at the mall. Frequently, it’s the kind of communication that turns into new or increased business for the companies we feature. Sometimes wonderful new relationships are created or old ones are renewed. They remark that they are impressed by the caliber of people who contact them. They also are impressed with the diversity among those who comment — business owners, executives, bankers, doctors, lawyers, accountants and community leaders.
     People often ask me how we choose the stories we publish. Generally, we start with editorial objectives based on current events and trends. Because our readers include business people from companies of all types and size in the local marketplace, we seek to organize a mix of stories that will attract this variety of readers. These stories either have a high level of current community interest or are just plain too good not to be told. They are also intended to complement our other offerings of recent business activity and regional business activity. 
     We get story ideas from many sources: our advertisers, our readers, our staff, press releases, business associates and even an occasional employee who is especially proud of their employer and the accomplishments of their business. While there is no shortage of story ideas and prospects, we can always use more. And, of course, everyone wants to be on the cover. We have even been asked what it costs to be on the cover. The cover is not for sale. Nor are our stories.
    When we receive a story idea, it is filed until it becomes appropriate for an issue. At our editorial meetings, we cull all of our story ideas. We then choose a mix of stories that we think will be the most interesting to our readers.
    We contact the selected companies to learn if they are interested in a story. Not everyone wants to tell their story and the timing might not be the best. However, once we get the OK, we assign a freelance writer and photographer and we’re off and running.
    We try to keep some balance by publishing stories about our advertisers and stories about non-advertisers as well. However, when we have to choose between two similar companies, and only one of them is an advertiser, we will always choose the one that supports Greater Charlotte Biz magazine. We will always take care of the companies that support us; that’s just good business.
     The stories we publish are about companies that operate in the ten-county greater Charlotte area. We are always looking for unique and interesting story ideas. If you know of one, perhaps it’s your own business, you are invited to jot down your story proposal on one page and fax it to 704-676-5853 or e-mail it to me at jgalles@greatercharlottebiz.com. The more information you share, the better the chance for your story to be considered. 
      Our readers are business owners, managers and executives at nearly every business location with more than seven employees. We want to publish stories and articles that they will want to read. They don’t like prescriptions or “how to’s.” They enjoy war stories about business start-ups, business growth and business success. They appreciate honest and open insights about how barriers and obstacles have been overcome. They want to know how you measure up to the competition and about your future. 
     I have long been a believer that if you help others succeed, then that will come back to you in your own success. We want to help you succeed and we believe that will enhance our success at the same time.

John Paul Galles is the publisher of Greater Charlotte Biz.
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