Growth Report 2020 Is a Year-Round Asset

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Business Journal’s annual Growth Report issue may just be one of the 23 publications produced each year, but it’s the one that can have the longest-lasting impact for businesses submitting stories.

“Yes, it’s published in Feb. 4, but this publication is kept all year long. I visit many offices on a weekly basis, spend a lot of time in lobbies, and there’s always a Growth Report lying around,” said Youngstown Publishing Co. CEO Jeff Leo Herrmann. “It’s a great source of market intelligence. If you have more than 200 companies sharing their information, it’s a great way to bone up on the market and see what’s happening. You’re part of an esteemed peer group with the fellow participants.”

Herrmann hosted a webinar Tuesday detailing how companies can use the 140-plus page issue throughout 2020. Though Growth Report submissions are capped at 650 words – a little over a page, Herrmann noted – there are plenty of nuggets within that can be activated through social media, emails and blog posts through a strategy known as COPE: create once, publish everywhere.

“Within those [650 words] are images and illustrations for the story. There are pull quotes. There are industry insights,” he said. “There are so many elements that it’s an amazing way to power your whole marketing strategy in 2020.”

Among the areas that are especially important to focus on from a marketing perspective, he continued, are investments, the transformation of your industry and the community service your company does.

“It inspires other advertising and marketing copy,” Herrmann said of submissions for the Growth Report.

Activation can also come via The Business Journal. Stories from the Growth Report are republished at and from there are disseminated through our Daily Headlines and Daily BUZZ emails, as well as social media channels. For Growth Report 2020, The Business Journal will also be launching an image frame for posting your content to social media.

“It’s a piece of content in a major media publication. There are lots of points of leverage for the Growth Report. Don’t just view it as a story published in the print edition,” Herrmann said. “This is a narrative you’re telling across a multimedia publication. Content that runs on a media platform is an asset that can pay dividends over time. It isn’t just a one-off.”

With more than 200 companies participating in the Growth Report, some may worry about their writing skills. There’s no cause for fear, Herrmann said. On the Growth Report page at, we’ve outlined the questions each company should try to answer in their submission, including investments made in the past year and planned investments for 2020, an outlook on your industry for the coming year, key challenges your company faces in 2020 and how technology is affecting your business. 

“A lot of the Growth Report is team recognition. How do you elevate your market profile, drive new revenue, improve and increase employee morale,” he said. “Focus on recognizing your team and all their accomplishments. And not just your team, but the community. What are you doing to create an impact?”

We’re also looking for how businesses are working toward brain gain and keeping kids and young professionals in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys.

“Anything you’re doing around workforce development and entrepreneurship, please make sure to incorporate that in your Growth Report submission,” Herrmann said.

For more information on how to leverage Growth Report 2020 for your business, check out the full webinar on The Business Journal’s YouTube page.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.