News

New design, new names at MedCityNews.com

The new Web site you see today is part of a whole bunch of “new” at MedCityNews.com and its parent company, MedCity Media. We not only have a dynamic new site, but we’ve opened a new office in yet another “medical city” and recently changed our name. I hope you find all the changes as satisfying as I do.

The new Web site you see today is part of a whole bunch of “new” at MedCityNews.com and its parent company, MedCity Media. I barely know where to start. So I’ll start with what you see: the Web site.

The new MedCityNews.com is meant to better display all the content we provide on the site; not just our in-house work, but also the work of our contributors and content partners who provide insight on the overall healthcare industry. You’ll see all our work better integrated into our front pages, within the right-hand column and via new sections not only based on geography but also on subject matter.

The site is also designed to better allow you to share and receive that content on your terms. Not only are there more ways to distribute MedCityNews.com content through social media, but we’ve launched an array of new industry- and geographic-specific e-newsletters (sign up for a specific e-newsletter by going to that section). Our national e-newsletter, as a result, will now be delivered every morning around 9 a.m. Eastern instead of the late afternoon. The rest of the e-newsletters will be sent out at 4 p.m. (no matter the time zone).

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Most important, the site does a better job of explaining what MedCityNews.com is all about. It’s never been our goal to simply write “news.” Reporters here view the local medical industries we cover like communities or, better yet, like scenes where national stakeholders want to be insiders: both known and in the know. The backbone of our reporting is business news. But it also includes actionable opinion and analysis on businesses, personalities, culture and policies from healthcare’s innovation hubs.

That philosophy is now stated more succinctly on every page: “News, Opinion and Analysis From Today’s Medical Cities.”

I forgot to mention one more thing about the redesign: the site is now infinitely better looking.

As excited as I am about the redesign, it’s not the most exciting change today. You’ll also see a new city on our masthead. We’ve opened our third office in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. It’s a natural extension of our coverage. We launched two years ago in the hospital capital of the world (Cleveland). A year ago we moved into the medical device capital of the world (Twin Cities). Now with our move into The Park, we’re in the biotech capital of the world.

(We also offer periodic coverage of other key medical cities, including Boston and Chicago, which can be found within our “More Medical Cities” tab)

Our staff in North Carolina is this week getting settled into the new market. Next week we’ll offer a full, official introduction to the team and our plans. We will also at that time unveil another new site that further enhances our presence not only in The Park, but also in our two other markets as well.

And that brings us to another change. The Web site wasn’t the only thing that got a makeover. We also recently changed our name. We’re now known as MedCity Media. MedCity News, which used to be our company  name, is now simply one of our products.

The change is, like with the site design, a move to better clarify what we are as a company. The overall mission of this company has always been to create content for people who care about healthcare. What I’ve seen in the past decade is a change to a world where everyone is a publisher. And a new-media outlet needs to satisfy those publishers as well as its readers in a new way: not only through producing pre-written “news,” but also by sharing that content with other media and leveraging our skills in healthcare content to provide custom-made work for anyone that needs it.

We’ve been telling that story more and more in the past few months, most recently through the revered journalism institute Poynter. Others, like Kirk Cheyfitz of Story Worldwide, a real visionary regarding media change, have also been explaining how we fit in the new landscape.

At the same time, smaller, savvier digital start-ups — like the Sacramento Press, a tiny online newspaper, and MedCity News, which provides specialized online news for the healthcare industry — have already arrived where the big companies are slowly headed. Both of these relatively young web publishers see the delivery of marketing services and content as their primary way of producing revenue from advertisers.

Similarly, Chris Seper, a former Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter who co-founded MedCity News, generates the lion’s share of his growing company’s revenue by creating engaging content for his clients, most of whom are hospitals, medical centers and pharma companies that lack the skills to locate or tell their own stories. As a technology journalist, Seper knows how to create and publish engaging, accurate stories about medicine. Ad agencies still don’t know how to do that.

And I’d encourage everyone to read the MedCity Media About Us section where we explain how MedCity Media works and who is behind it. We’d be nothing without our investors, advisers and board members. I’m particularly grateful for our latest investor, JumpStart Ventures, who is helping fuel our expansion (we’re not done yet).

So, in short, lots of change and all of it good. We launched this new look mid-Saturday and will spend a week kicking the tires and ironing out the little nuances that come with any new site. But I hope you find all the changes as satisfying as I do.