Mulling topic options for this letter to the readership and our advertisers, I kept coming back to one, so here it is: It’s time to remind our circulation and our stakeholders how we arrive at rankings and economic development agency award recipients throughout the year. Why now? Two reasons. First, in the heat of political campaigns — state, national and otherwise — political foes of those benefiting from our recognition, and press doing their bidding, seek to poke holes in our methodologies and then pretend to be interested in those methodologies only after their erroneous articles have appeared in print. I have addressed this previously and am reminded each time how seriously these players take us. Which they should.
Second, some have suggested that areas appear higher in our rankings to the extent they support the magazine financially. Never has this been the case in the 61 years we’ve produced rankings. Here’s why: We’re journalists with integrity and a long-term view of credibility and success. We don’t need to do business that way — to manipulate data for short-term financial gain. We instead produce reports that the industry can trust without question. Site Selection is the only economic development publication that arrives at its rankings and award recipients by virtue of actual new project announcements logged into our New Plant Database. We look at those numbers both in total and on a per capita basis, so states and metros with smaller populations are recognized for their economic development success and the prosperity that ensues.
Here’s some inside baseball for you. At the end of each production cycle, when every page — editorial and advertising — is prepared for transmission to the printer, I personally approve each page, and all pages are reviewed for any final corrections by other editors, as well. As anyone on staff remotely familiar with this process will attest, it is only at this time that I and the other editors even know who’s advertising in a given issue. As much as we appreciate ad support then and at all times, that’s not information we need, nor do we seek it on the editorial side of the house during the course of reporting and editing content.
This might seem like an anachronistic stance in 2015, and perhaps it is. But it has served us well for more than 60 years. It is not a policy I intend to change.
Now, about that content. You will find in this issue our most comprehensive Global Infrastructure Report yet. If you haven’t found pointers about areas to explore more thoroughly based on one of this report’s several components, then you probably haven’t finished reading it. We recognize Canada’s Best To Invest provinces and areas and the Top US Utilities — based on actual economic development success in the past year. Remember how that works? And there’s a detailed roadmap in the Texas Spotlight on how Facebook picks its data center sites — a fascinating read, I assure you.So, on behalf of my excellent staff and the entire Site Selection team, please enjoy and use the many insights you will find in this and every issue, confident that it is produced the old-fashioned way — with the reader in mind.