Best Version Media LLC is perhaps the biggest magazine publisher you’ve never heard of.
Founded in 2007 with six magazines in the Milwaukee area, Best Version’s monthly publications feature feature stories focused on local communities.
Fifteen years later, Best Version distributes monthly magazines to more than 1,000 affluent communities across the United States and Canada, including more than 30 communities in Wisconsin.
This includes titles such as Brookfield Neighbors, Franklin Neighbors and Germantown Richfield Neighbors – with a focus on what Best Version calls “positive, family stories”.
Meanwhile, the Brookfield-based company has picked up several awards for its working environment.
That includes a spot on this year’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s annual list of the best places to work in southeast Wisconsin.
“It’s so inspiring. This is tremendous recognition of our team and the leaders we have within Best Version Media,” said General Manager Kevin O’Brien.
Best Version has 176 employees, including around 100 employees based at the head office.
The company has used various approaches to create a strong corporate culture.
That includes employees playing in a summer volleyball league, attending Brewers and Bucks games and planning volunteer activities with organizations such as United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County and Hunger Task Force, Mitch Writt said. , Deputy Director of Public Relations.
Best Version also hosts a weekly staff call to provide updates, celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries, and hear from executives.
“It’s a great way for us to come together while many of our employees are still working remotely,” Writt said.
Along with these team-building activities, Best Version offers “a collaborative, tight-knit administrative team that supports each other and lends a helping hand when needed,” he said.
Meanwhile, after Best Version’s head office at 19355 Janacek Court closed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has adopted a new flexible schedule for employees.
This includes offering people the option to work remotely or at the Brookfield office.
“We’ve seen tremendous response to this added flexibility and it has allowed us to continue to build on our award-winning corporate culture,” Writt said.
Best Version’s growth has come at a time when many print magazine publishers have seen their revenues decline as readers shift to digital news, sports and feature coverage.
But unlike such well-known titles as Time, Sports Illustrated and Better Homes and Gardens, Best Version’s focus is intensely local.
Each monthly publication features a feature story about a family in the community.
The magazines also highlight items such as a calendar of community events, youth sports, and notices from the local library, school district, and other institutions.
Print magazines are the foundation of the business, with Best Version continuing to open new publications nationwide.
The magazines are sent to community residents free of charge, with Best Version’s revenue coming from advertisements purchased by small and medium-sized businesses.
Best Version also generates revenue through advertisements on a sports website, bvmsports.com, which the company launched in 2020.
It shares local, national and international sports headlines from The Associated Press while producing stories written by staff and submitted by readers about “the local athletes, coaches and teams that other media often overlook”, said said Writer.