As more and more people flock to established social-networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Flickr, and look for new ways to connect with each other online around shared interests, publishers are eager to tap into the power of this social-media tool. However, many are unsure of how to best support their brands via social networking, how to allocate time and resources to this new endeavor, and importantly, if and how their efforts will pay off. Here, seasoned publishing executives who have delved into the social-networking waters offer tips for using and profiting from it:

What’s in a name? A lot actually, if you want to understand Richfield, Ohio-based GIE Media’s approach to its employees. “The name could have easily been Foster Publishing,” says Chris Foster, who since 2005 has helmed the business-to-business media company founded by his father, Richard, in 1980. “He named the company GIE Media, meaning Group Interest Enterprises, because he wanted everyone to have some level of ownership, a stake in the company’s overall success.”

The “Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For” list is Publishing Executive’s annual ranking of companies that seem to embody the philosophy that a company’s employees are the key to its success. But being a great company isn’t just about offering a great benefits package (though that certainly helps). The companies that made the list this year create environments where employees are valued and respected professionally, but they also work to help enhance employees’ personal lives. Whether it’s through bonuses, fitness centers, sabbatical programs or super-flex flex time, these companies go the extra mile to keep their employees happy—and it shows.

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