All aboard

11 August 2008

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As part of my ongoing efforts to further engage the end user community, I have unveiled plans to name a Hoist Advisory Board, compiled of overhead lifting equipment end users.


When I took over the editorship of Hoist in May 2006, I made it priority to increase the magazine's exposure among end users. Getting those with purchasing power, and those who use and operate equipment within their facilities, onto the circulation has been no quick-fix, but we're getting there.

Some manufacturers have supplied distributor lists of their end user contacts, others have given us wish-lists of the, say, 100 people they would like to receive the publication. Hoist is a controlled circulation title, which means we can manipulate its distribution as well as ensuring all our subscribers (those who have requested the magazine themselves) continue to receive 10 issues a year. Including digital issues, the total circulation of Hoist is now 20,000.

I have already started recruiting for the Advisory Board of sister title, Overhead Crane & Hoist (OCH), launched at the 2007 Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) Fall Meeting. But that's a very different project, with the vast majority of the 10,000 readership already going to the end user communities of the USA, Mexico and Canada. Again, some high profile manufacturers have supplied priceless data to bolster our distribution.

Notably, the OCH panel is not assembled entirely of end users, manufacturers have also been welcomed. The Hoist Advisory Board will be a forum exclusively for users.

With Hoist, it's a case to adapting the profile of an already established title which has traditionally targeted manufacturers and crane builders, which of course remain valued supporters of the title.

To give this new initiative impetus, I'd like to name the first members of the Hoist board as soon as possible. So, get thinking as to who you'd like to see on the panel.

Put simply, the board will demonstrate to readers and those who invest in the product that it is going to the right people in the business, and that we're willing to listen and adapt to the needs of the industry.

Some members will choose to use it to contribute to web material, I'm sure. The crane guys from Bruce Power in Canada (the first members of the OCH board), have just done a day in the life of an end user for the latest issue, for example. Other members may feel it is enough to appear as a board member without actively contributing beyond having a face in the magazine.

I will email members from time to time asking for their thoughts and feelings. In the first instance, the announcement of a board member will involve the provision of:

- photo

- company logo

- job title

- brief introduction (what overhead lifting equipment you use, employees that use it, heaviest crane etc)

Moving forward, as an Advisory Board member, end users will be among the first invited to contribute to new print and online initiatives. I would like to run a series of day in the life stories, for example. It'd simply be a case of charting the day of a user every hour or so explaining their relationship with the lifting equipment.

The blog section of this site could also be a forum for debate. I've said from the outset (76 blogs ago) that I'd welcome your contributions. Topics could include:

- Has this happened to you?

- I lifted this and this happened. What shall I do?

- What crane/hoist have you used to...?

- Look out, this happened...

- I saw this and it made me laugh, but I learned a lesson.

You get the idea!

If you're a manufacturer or crane builder, do you have a customer you feel would be specifically suited to this initiative? If you're an end user yourself, would you or a colleague like to step aboard?

I'll leave you this to ponder and look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions for members. Hopefully, we can unveil the first members as early as the September or October issues.

I hope this wets your appetite.

Richard Howes, Editor

[email protected]