Editor's Notes: Change is Everywhere
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Editor’s Notes: Change Is Everywhere

The auto body industry isn’t the only industry undergoing rapid change. The publishing industry is changing, too. So take heart in knowing that change is the one common denominator we can all relate to.

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Jason Stahl has 28 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 16 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

The other day, I was sitting in my company’s annual sales meeting and our owner said, “An editor who does not embrace digital media has no future here at Babcox Media.”

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Wow, that statement really shook me. I get so wrapped up in the collision industry’s challenges that sometimes I forget about my own. Namely, that the publishing world has changed more in the last five years than it has in the past 25.

The auto body industry isn’t the only industry undergoing rapid change. The publishing industry is changing, too. Look at newspapers. Circulation is declining as more and more people read their news online. In 1982, BodyShop Business had one product: its print magazine. Today, we have the print magazine, an e-magazine, a website, a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram page, 12 e-newsletters a month, video and other digital products.

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Just like old-school body technicians who scoff at learning anything new because they know it all, editors who cling to the past and refuse to acknowledge the digital revolution will become like the dinosaur: extinct. And out of a job.

I, for one, embrace change and like to learn. I will do whatever it takes to be successful. But I did not grow up with social media or websites or e-zines or cellphones, so there is much I need to learn and stay on top of.

So for any collision repairers feeling overwhelmed by aluminum or the increasingly sophisticated technology emerging in vehicles, understand you’re not alone. We live in intense, competitive and rapidly changing times, and all industries across the board are being required to stay current and nimble, ready to adjust at any moment. Problem is, what was current yesterday may not be current today! In any case, take heart in knowing that change is the one common denominator we can all relate to.

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