Michelle Simakis

In conversations at trade shows and in interviews on pages of this magazine, we discuss how much retail is changing often. Change is inevitable, and the garden center industry seems to be evolving ever faster, from customer demands to technology.

Media has changed and is continuing to evolve, too. People can read, listen and watch their news from thousands of sources, and it means that singular national, and even local, conversations are rarer. When they do happen, they are brief, interrupted by the next attention-grabbing headline.

When Garden Center launched nearly 25 years ago, the primary job of editors was to produce a print magazine, cover trade shows and stay on top of industry happenings. Today, we do all that, plus keep you up-to-date with the latest news on our website in articles, videos and more, in daily e-newsletters and on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. Our goal has always been to educate and serve leading independent garden center leaders, but we’ve expanded that mission by hosting webinars and virtual conferences to help readers increase profits, and we are launching our first in-person conference this month in Denver to provide a space for key decision-makers to learn and gather together.

This change is happening at most media outlets, but it also means how news is presented and how long it resonates with audiences is changing. Getting your story and information to your customers can be difficult in this noisy environment. But there are also more opportunities to reach potential shoppers and get your authentic story heard.

During one of our advisory board meetings, one member pitched the idea that we cover media in an upcoming issue. Based on our conversation and in talking with our thoughtful contributors, we produced multiple articles to help you navigate everything from handling negative social posts and news articles, getting your story to stick, becoming an expert in the modern media age, and how to be confident in front of a camera.

The February issue is the result of a conversation and a story from a board member. I thank her, as I appreciate ideas. Your suggestions help shape our content and improve our magazine. Please feel free to reach out any time and share yours.

Michelle Simakis