2009 Top Innovators: Jim Sulecki, Meister Media Worldwide
While Meister Media Worldwide executives knew they would eventually have to shift from a print business model to a digital one, they decided not to bet the farm until their markets were connected to the Web in large numbers and using it regularly for business. Those markets included fruit and vegetable growing, cotton growing, greenhouse plants, seeds and farm chemicals.
In January 2008, the Meister team decided the timing was right for a decisive move online, and Jim Sulecki, a 20-year company veteran, was appointed director of e-media to lead the effort.
Sulecki decided the transformation needed to happen quickly, so he set out to overhaul all 20 of the company's branded and custom Web sites within about nine months. GreenhouseGrower.com, the site of the company's flagship magazine, Greenhouse Grower, was the first to be relaunched, in July. The last one, OrnamentalOutlook.com, debuted its new look last month.
Jim Sulecki, Meister Media Worldwide
Title: Director of e-media
Company: Meister Media Worldwide
Comment: In less than a year, Sulecki catapulted the company's 20 behind-the-times Web sites to the cutting edge.
While all the sites have a similar modern look, the changes go beyond cosmetics. Meister's team of in-house developers created a new Web content management system and incorporated a host of Web 2.0 features, including community forums, comments, blogs and video. The redesigned Web sites are generally updated daily, compared with monthly posting of magazine content in the past.
Only 2% of Meister's revenue came from e-media last year. “We are budgeted to get up to about 5% this year and continue doubling until we get e-media to about 15% of total revenue by 2012,” Sulecki said. Now that Meister has caught up with its b-to-b media peers on the Web, Sulecki is aiming for the forefront. “One area where we are ahead of others in our markets is online video,” he said. —M.G.
|MEDIA BUSINESS INNOVATORS - 2009|
Meister Media Worldwide
The Wall Street Journal
IDG World Expo
Hanley Wood Business Media
|Glenn R. Filippone