Tag Archives: MiBiz

Culture Clash? Revue Acquires MiBiz

Last week Revue, a monthly West Michigan entertainment magazine, purchased MiBiz, a weekly West Michigan business publication (there has been no official announcement regarding the headlines though).  Both publications are now owned by Revue Holding Company.

As mentioned in the press release, Revue president Brian Edwards (whose name graces a local Grand Rapids PR firm – Lambert & Edwards & Associates) will come on board at MiBiz as editor and publisher of the magazine.  It will be interesting to see how these two seemingly different magazines will operate with each other since it’s stated that they will share best practices.  However, they do share some similarities:

  1. Physical Appearance:  Both publications are of a similar (or same) size, made out of newspaper material, and are in color
  2. Free:  Well to a certain extent.  Revue is free, and you can pick up a copy almost anywhere, whereas MiBiz is free for subscription if you have a fancy title (middle to upper management).  Also both publications make their entire issue/content available for free online
  3. Advertising:  Both heavily rely on advertising for revenue, though their advertisers vary greatly.  Revue – bars, restaurants, and bands.  MiBiz – Banks, Insurance, and other boring/odd ads for businesses like this one.

Per the press release Edwards states that the MiBiz acquisition is just the first of several planned for the next couple of years… I wonder what is next – sports (maybe even high school sports), Rapid Growth (though maybe not after Revue’s Stad DiPonzi’s Vapid Growth comment), what else is there….The Ledger?  Maybe West Michigan isn’t a focus and they are looking to acquire publications in Central or Eastern Michigan.  Or perhaps Revue Holding Company is just positioning itself against Gemini Publications portfolio of magazines which include Grand Rapids Business Journal, Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Family Magazine, Michigan BLUE Magazine, Michigan GOLF Magazine.  By the way, Gemini gets bonus points for all their creative and original publication names.

So what are your thoughts on what’s next for Revue Holding Company or about the acquisition?

Schaap & the West Michigan Media

I have never been in a West Michigan news room, but I imagine it would go something like this:

Not an image of a reporter working on his deadline story.

Editor: “Johnson, do you have your article ready for the next issue?”
Reporter: “Boss, I thought the deadline for my story was next week.”
Editor: “JOHNSON! I need an article on my desk by tomorrow morning”
Reporter (to self): ” Damn… I need a story fast, I better call Schaap”

It's Schaap. Wonder if the yellow face might be sort of a Bat Signal, when media needs a story.

Every publication has written at least one article on Aaron Schaap.  But many have written two, three or even more, therefore providing proof  to my above hypothesis.

Who is perpetuating this cycle… the journalists or Schaap?  Are journalists tripping over themselves to get a recorder in front of Schaap or is Schaap pursuing the journalists with a barrage of calls, emails, and press releases?

Yellow face in background again must be the Schaap signal

So why is everyone writing a story on Mr. Schaap?  By the looks of it, he has a lot going on with his companies (The Factory, Elevator Up, Downstream), and with the local start-up and tech scene.  Is it a prerequisite for any business publication in the area to do a story on Schaap?  Probably not but the man does get a lot of coverage.

Seems like there would be an easier way to hold a pin? or is it an elevator (up) button?

It’s no surprise that the Mlive/West Michigan Business Review and the Grand Rapids Press have been working on the Schaap angle for years.  Fortunately not all of their stories focus solely on Schaap, they also include some other people, but they have some great photos (my personal favorite is the Tech Industry one):

Sharing the Thunder - One of the rare Schaap photos featuring other people

If you ever read the Holland Sentinel, they rarely have any business stories in their paper.  You have to search their website to even find their business section, and the actual stories in the paper are usually just AP wire stories.  So it is even more surprising that they have two stories on Schapp (Pitch Night, and Momentum) and even had Aaron as respondent on Street-Talk.

Grand Rapids Business Journal finally got in on the action with a Schaap feature just last month – “On-The-Job Training as an Internet Entrepreneur“.  I am surprised it took them that long (by the way GRBJ search function is awful, searching for Schaap will not bring up that story, and it is quite a pain not being able to actually read any of the stories…definitely a bummer).

MiBiz also has a few stories covering Schaap – DownStream, G33k, Entrepreneurs (you will have to log-in to read these stories).  As has Rapid Growth in covering his Pitch Night and Factory news.  The Rapidian touched on Schaap in a couple of stories (here, here) and even GrubSheets did a story.

Aaron levitating

Lastly the newly launched Startup Stories vlog did their first vlog post on Schaap and his Downstream company (honestly who else would have they done their inaugural story on?… Carl Erickson and Atomic Object, yeah right)

Mr. Schaap does have a great story, (which is surprisingly open and candid) and the guy is quite a good marketer of himself and his companies.  But his relationship with the media somewhat reminds me of Rob Bliss‘ relationship with the media (but without Mlive commenters making derisive comments), with the constant coverage.

Damn it, I just wrote an Aaron Schaap story as well.

Happy that The Ledger did a story

MiBiz Has No “Biz-ness” Writing Headlines

Writing headlines is a pain.  Often times it is the last thing I do before I post my stories, usually after many deletions and rewritings.  So I can’t fault MiBiz too much for their choice of headlines but wow they do really kick up the corniness.  Peruse the list below:

Which MiBiz headline do you like the best?  Can you find any other good ones in their archives?  More importantly my headlines aren’t that bad… are they?

Note:  Remember you can read MiBiz stories free of charge if you just sign up for an account

Grade F in Marketing – Portage Printing

Portage Printing adLook at this ad for Portage Printing, that was in a recent issue of MiBiz.  Anyone get it?  Let me take a stab.  As person who enjoys beer, I am familiar with a type of beer called Porter and that word is somewhat similar to Portage.  Yes I know it is a stretch, plus the beer in the ad looks like an amber ale anyways.  Also whats up with the  catapult type machine in the beer (I was informed that it is a printing press).  But who would want to use a printing press half submerged in beer?

“Your business cards should look better than theirs”, no word on how this Portage Printing ad fits in that statement.

West Michigan Business Publications

Where do you get your business news from? Luckily for our region there are a lot of sources out there. Below is a list with some hyperlinks and some notes of mine. Also keep in mind that these are great venues for getting news about your company out. This way you can save money by not using a PR wire and can specifically target the West Michigan region effectively. Enjoy!


Weekly Publication
Can get a free print subscription if you have a fancy title (middle to upper management) . Unfortunately, I do not so I just read the online version. You can also register online to view their archives free of charge.  They also have a pretty easy way to submit press releases


Business Update

Monthly publication
Website is a bit difficult to navigate but luckily they do offer PDF of the past 12 issues free of charge (http://www.businessupdate.com/publications.php)
Also have an issue submission process for your press releases
In my experience they will usually give you at least a small mention


Grand Rapids Business Journal

Weekly Publication
Main articles on homepage and “Change Ups” available to read, but everything else requires a subscription
Press Release can be sent to their editorial department editorial@grbj.com


West Michigan Business Review

Weekly printed publication who has their online version available through mlive.com
Contact information for Press Release submission and subscription information

This is the one magazine I actually do get.
“Business Briefcase” is their new hires, news updates section available in the print edition
RSS Feed available


Grand Rapids Press

Daily paper
Editorial contacts
, best bet email press releases to some of the business editors
Also has a “Names and Faces in Business” section
RSS Feed available


Rapid Growth

Weekly email sent out
Great source of news, pulls information from various sources and provides a few in-depth stories from their reporters and the rest of excerpts with a link to the full news story
Editorial contacts

RSS Feed available


Holland Sentinel

Daily publication
Seems to handle only local companies, also has BizBuzz section for submitting personal changes or new business openings, etc. BizBuzz
Editorial contacts


Grand Haven Tribune

Business section seems to be AP news
Editorial contacts


Muskegon Chronicle

Part of the mlive umbrella
Editorial contacts


Kalamazoo Gazette

Part of the mlive umbrella
Business section
, Editorial contacts

My favorite section Kalamabrew blog

If you have any other favorite business publications, or know of editor contacts please post below. Additionally, anyone been featured in the New Position or New Company Hire sections in any of these publications? How did you feel about it? Everyone wants to be valued by their company, and this is one way for your company to say “yes we are happy to have hired you.” Plus as a nice little ego boost for yourself, because you just know that those other hiring managers who passed you over are definitely reading those section.