With the deadline for entering the 2023 Neals approaching fast (this Sunday night! Enter here!), it seems a good time to look back at some 2022 winners and remind us how special these are to the industry. Diversity and inclusion have certainly become a big component to the winners, be it as a subject or in sources and reporting.
This week’s Supply Chain Dive: Operations, winner of the 2022 Neal Award for best eNewsletter, starts off getting right to the point. “In this newsletter: Ohio emerges as manufacturing hub; climate change pressures production; and factories grapple with staffing constraints. (Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.)”
Writer Sarah Zimmerman then entices the reader with 2-3 graphs on those stories, before she changes things up with a big red 746,000 for “the number of job openings within the manufacturing industry for Sept. 2022.”
An opinion poll follows—love the reader interaction—followed by last week’s poll results and a request for new poll ideas. Finally we get Quick Hit headlines and then a Parting Thought from Zimmerman. It’s all well-crafted, easy to read and engaging.
Here are 4 more lessons from 2022 winners:
Diversify your writers and sources. Writing in Arizent’s Accounting Today, Ranica Arrowsmith’s 2022 Neal Award-winning, exceptional story for Best Single Article, is titled AI, Applied: Opening the Black Box. She provides ways that AI can assist people in accounts receivable, accounts payable, audits and other transactions. A key source for Arrowsmith (pictured) is Samantha Bowling, who lists herself on LinkedIn as an: “AI Innovator, Mentor, Business Owner, Auditing Standards Board Member, Speaker and I LOVE what I do.” She also quotes the co-founders of an AI-driven accounts receivable platform, and Youngseung Kuk who manages business outsourcing services for Top 100 Firm Armanino in Boise, Idaho.
Add special photos, infographics and/or video to a story. For his 2022 Neal Award-winning story—Heart Attack Struck Sek Kathiresan’s Family. He’s Devoted His Life to Stopping Them—Industry Dive’s Ben Fidler used personal photos given to him by his subject, Sek Kathiresan. Then Fidler tracked down a video of Kathiresan winning the Curt Stern award (shown above)—an honor given to pioneering human geneticists by the American Society of Human Genetics. In the video, Kathiresan recalls the journey that took him from a small town in India to an awards stage in San Diego. “For profiles to be as powerful as they can be, the subject has to be gracious with his or her time and willing to be vulnerable and honest,” Fidler told me. “It’s a lot to ask of someone. You have to earn their trust and respect. Part of that is getting to the point that you’re asking someone for personal photos, which are, of course, a delicate subject… After we’d developed a rapport, I explained why I thought they’d be helpful and how they’d elevate the story…”
For her Neal winner in Best Technical/Scientific Content—titled Less Than Zero: Driving Down Carbon Emissions Needs More Than High-Performance Glazing—Ellen Rogers, editor of USGlass Magazine, leads with a powerful inforgraphic: Global CO2 Emissions by Sector. The graphic shows that the building and construction industry accounts for about 40% of energy-related carbon emissions in the construction and operation of buildings.
Highlight winning ideas. In an article titled Diversity in Trucking Won’t Work Without Inclusion in Endeavor Business Media’s 2022 Neal Award-winning issue of FleetOwner, executive editor Cristina Commendatore points to Total Transportation in Jackson, Miss. They have a team that specializes in going to historically Black colleges and universities to promote the trucking industry. The company also touts having nearly three times more female drivers than the national average. “It’s easy to be diverse,” said CEO John Stomps. “Inclusion, however, is a culture; you’ve got to have that from the top down.” “Without an inclusive culture, it’s impossible to maintain diversity within any business operation,” Commendatore writes. “That’s particularly important for the trucking industry, which has a growing labor shortage and hasn’t traditionally been known as the most diverse industry.” Sure enough, another article covers the driver shortages.