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Birding Business

birding business

This month’s bird

The Hairy Woodpecker

Birding Business July 2014


BY RAY DAVID | Editor/Publisher

“A magazine is just a bunch of printed pages that can’t be updated, tweeted, pinned, interstitialed, linked, liked, clicked, popped-up, dissolved, cookied, tracked, hacked, or search-engine-optimized.”  Those words, by D. Eadward Tree, came to mind during a project to create an infographic for the Wild Bird Feeding Industry’s Research Foundation.  (You can see the finished graphic on page 27).

Mr. Tree went on to say that print has its own unique possibilities that are often overlooked by advertisers and twenty-something media buyers who are steeped in the most up-to-date technologies, but deficient in understanding the basic principles of what came before it, and still define its purpose.

The infographic was the work of a graphic design student at Millikin University – a partner with WBFI in field studies of wild bird feeding habits sponsored in part by the Research Foundation – and intended for use by anyone involved in the wild bird feeding industry. Its purpose is to explain at a glance the plusses of feeding wild birds in order to gain greater public recognition of the benefits of a very soothing and relaxing pastime. There were a couple of rounds of design corrections to achieve an acceptable version, but at the end of that process it was evident that, though the creator had a good grasp of what was requested, she did not have a clear understanding of the principles of communicating at the level of the reader for whom her work was intended. She used the grammar and syntax of a college student rather than that of a mature business audience; understandable, given her position as a student, but a novice mistake in the larger media world.

The purpose of publishing anything in any media is to draw attention. Graphics and grammar do that. Just be sure the attention you’re getting is for the right reasons.

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Minding the store, by definition, means you’re largely unable to interact with other store owners face-to-face throughout the year, but opportunities do come up from time to time and it’s important to fit it in whenever possible. Gold Crest Distributing is running its annual Warehouse Sale Oct. 7 through 9 where you’ll have a chance to meet hundreds of other retailers and manufacturers, and share your successes and near-misses with like-minded folks who want to learn more about this industry. Educational opportunities are few and far between, so when the option is there jump on it.

Another big event comes up in Chicago August 5 through 7 at the Independent Garden Center (I.C.G.) show on Navy Pier. There are parallels between a garden center and a birding specialty store that most would not recognize without seeing at first hand how the two intersect. So check the ads in this issue for both events and make travel plans as soon as you can. Visit www.goldcrestdistributing.com, or www.icg.com.

Farewell Martha
by Hank Weber
How 5 billion birds vanished.

Smart Merchandising
by Mike Anderson
Increase your Q4 sales.

Hello Again, Martha
by Hank Weber
De-extinction of a species.

The Art of Bird 
by Matthew Tekulsky
Be your customers’ info source for 
bird photography.

A Clearer Look at Optics
by Hank Weber

The right and the wrong way to clean binoculars.

It’s Not Location, 
it’s Education
by Ray David
Generate sales of $900 per square foot.

  Buyer’s Guide

Make the Most Out of 
Your Optic Offerings
by John E. Riutta
Know the right optics to recommend for all popular activities.

Publisher’s Note
Industry News
New Products
Book Reviews
Index of Advertisers