Thought Leadership Takes the Gold

Thought Leadership Takes the Gold

by / August 6, 2007
PCIO Award Jessica Jones

In the fall of 2002, e.Republic CEO Dennis McKenna met with key members of his staff to discuss a new project: a publication that would serve the public-sector CIO community. Unlike other magazines published by e.Republic and competitors that covered the government and IT markets, this one would be a thought leadership journal.

The goal was to have professional journalists as well as academics and industry analysts contribute well researched, thought-provoking articles, providing readers with a rich selection of information and knowledge for IT executives who have to manage some of the most complex computer systems and networks under some of the most trying circumstances. At the same time, this journal would have the highest standards in magazine editing, design and production.

The result: Public CIO, a publication that marked the start of something different: a hybrid publication -- part journal, part magazine -- but also the beginning of a new era in service journalism. The first issue came out in the spring of 2003 with a photograph of Mark Forman, CIO for the federal government, on the cover. It was an immediate hit. We had little trouble attracting well respected contributors who raised the quality of the editorial content and enough advertisers to make the magazine pay for itself from the start.

Two years ago, Public CIO went bimonthly and the thought leaders we featured on the cover of the magazine grew, ranging from former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, New Orleans CIO Greg Meffert, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, OMB Deputy Director Clay Johnson, editor and technology critic Nicholas Carr to New York City CIO Paul Cosgrave, who is profiled in our cover story for the latest issue.

I'm giving you this bit of publishing history because of a new milestone for Public CIO. Last week in New York City, we were given the highest honor that can be bestowed on a business publication. The American Society of Business Publication Editors named Public CIO as the 2007 Magazine of the Year for publications with a circulation under 80,000 (ours is 25,000).

ASBPE is widely recognized as having one of the most prestigious and rigorous editorial award programs in the publication business. We faced some excellent competition and while the award is an amazing achievement, especially for a magazine of our size, it brings attention to the small but highly talented staff that makes Public CIO possible.

I'll start with Dennis McKenna, whose vision and foresight launched the magazine and carries on today as he continues to encourage and challenge the staff to find new and better ways to serve our readers. Listed on the masthead with the modest title of associate editor is Steve Towns who, as many of you already know, is editor of Government Technology and executive editor of the entire editorial department. Steve is also our trusted editorial adviser to the magazine as well as my long-time colleague and friend.

Since its inception, Jessica Jones has been Public CIO's managing editor and more, tracking all articles through the editorial process, acting as liaison between editorial and design and being an all-around jack of all trades in writing and

editing copy. Last year, Jessica was named assistant editor, so she could devote more of her time and skills to integrating editorial with design. It's a complex job, but one that Jessica does extremely well.

Karen Stewartson has taken over as managing editor and is quiet but tenacious in managing the many articles as they wind their way through the various stages of editing, making sure we stick to our deadlines. Making sure our copy is clean and accurate is Miriam Jones, a long-time editor at e.Republic. She is also in charge of handling the conversion of our print editions when they move on to the Web so the stories are accessible online.

Our highly talented design team is led by Kelly Martinelli, creative director.  Her illustrators and designers include Tom McKeith, Michelle Hamm and Crystal Hopson. Their ability to create original art and illustrations that help convey arcane subjects, such as SOA, ERP, CRM and ITIL, is amazing. ASBPE thought so too. They awarded the design team with a separate achievement award for the excellence of their work in designing and illustrating Public CIO.

Other people who provide invaluable editorial support include veteran editor Shane Peterson and writers Jim McKay, Andy Opsahl and Chad Vander Veen. While their full-time job is writing and editing for Government Technology, they also lend their time to making Public CIO a great publication.

Paul Taylor, the Center for Digital Government's chief strategy officer, has been contributing a regular column to the magazine from the first issue, giving readers his delightful mix of insight and wit in his well received commentaries.

In addition, we have been fortunate to have working for us several fabulous freelance journalists who contribute their talents to Public CIO on a regular basis: David Raths, Merrill Douglas and Chandler Harris.

The achievements of this hardworking team of writers, editors and designers have gone unmentioned for too long. Without their dedication and hard work, Public CIO would not have achieved this level of excellence. Most satisfying is the fact they have been recognized by their peers: the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

A job well done. Congratulations to all.

Tod Newcombe Senior Editor

With more than 20 years of experience covering state and local government, Tod previously was the editor of Public CIO, e.Republic’s award-winning publication for information technology executives in the public sector. He is now a senior editor for Government Technology.

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