Fenestration Review

News
Editorial – Send me your news


October 21, 2014
By Patrick Flannery

One of the goals of trade magazines is to act as a kind of internal conversation within a national industry. Since an industry is not one entity but rather a conglomerate of companies, individuals and other organizations, all the “bits” need to talk to each other if there is to be any hope of forming a common culture. Forming a common culture in the window and door industry is probably not something you budget for each year. But without one, business sectors lack identity and are easily ignored by suppliers, governments and the public. They miss opportunities for shared learning, networking, and developing shared practices that reassure the consumer and help everyone to make money.

One of the goals of trade magazines is to act as a kind of internal conversation within a national industry. Since an industry is not one entity but rather a conglomerate of companies, individuals and other organizations, all the “bits” need to talk to each other if there is to be any hope of forming a common culture. Forming a common culture in the window and door industry is probably not something you budget for each year. But without one, business sectors lack identity and are easily ignored by suppliers, governments and the public. They miss opportunities for shared learning, networking, and developing shared practices that reassure the consumer and help everyone to make money.

Industry news is the gossipy part of the conversation where fairly raw information about recent events and changes is passed around so everyone has a common understanding of what is going on. It is the soil out of which our more sophisticated opinions grow and fosters the basis for our policies and attitudes within the market. Also, people seem to like it. The news pages are some of the most avidly read in the magazine.

But there is a problem with our news. It is too dominated by items from suppliers. As much as we love our suppliers and advertisers, we all understand that they have an agenda to sell us something. Any “news” we read from them will be carefully crafted to show them in the best possible light. And critical news about the supplier that is not flattering will probably never see the light of day. Given these limitations, you are probably wondering why I run supplier press releases at all. The answer is simple: they are often all I have.  My inbox fills up daily with well-written, properly formatted, ready-to-go news items from suppliers, complete with photos. When it comes to fenestration fabricators and dealers, however, I usually find out about changes in their businesses through offhand comments at association functions, months or even years after the fact. If you are not at a given function, or I don’t happen to talk to you there, chances are I’ll never know about that new location you opened, that new salesperson you hired or that new product you are carrying.

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All this is my problem, not yours. But I want to encourage everyone reading this to take five minutes when something noteworthy happens in your business to drop me a note at pflannery@annexweb.com. Don’t worry about grammar and punctuation – I can fix those. Don’t worry about getting all the information in there – I can ask follow-up questions as needed. Do send a photo. And don’t hesitate if you think your company is too small or the information might be of only local interest. We are here for all window and door companies across Canada, big and small.  You might be surprised at the things that can happen with a little exposure outside your normal circle. So let’s get this conversation going.

We have had two exciting new developments in the magazine. The first is our endorsement from the Siding and Window Dealers Association of Canada. You can read more about that in the news section. The second is the addition of a third issue of Fenestration Review next summer. There was never enough room in just two issues to talk about everything that is going on in our vibrant industry, and the wonderful response to the magazine so far has allowed us to grow. The summer issue will be focused on window and door dealers and installers. We’ll have content discussing retail sales approaches, mass marketing, installation best practices and many other issues facing you, the person who takes windows and doors to the end user. Dealers, now would be a great time to drop me a line and tell me what you would like to see in the magazine next summer.


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