For the past 10 years Outlook Publishing has been publishing success stories of companies from around the world in its B2B magazines, including Africa Outlook. Today, the international media company is its own success story as CEO Ben Weaver wins Director of the Year at the Norfolk Business Awards.
Outlook Publishing CEO Ben Weaver has won the Director of the Year award, sponsored by FRP Advisory, at the Norfolk Business Awards 2022. The black-tie event takes place every year to recognise the accomplishments and achievements of the Norfolk business community. The theme of the awards ceremony was growth, and Outlook Publishing has experienced significant expansion in recent years.
“Winning Director of the Year felt like the hard work myself and my team have been putting in over the past 10 years – and especially since the COVID-19 pandemic – was finally recognised and rewarded,” Weaver discloses.
“It was a surprise victory, but nonetheless we feel it was deserved and the whole team were happy to receive the award,” he reveals. Once the surprise wore off, Ben and the team decided to enjoy the event, drinking and dancing until the end of the night. “Initially, we were in shock at the win – but once settled, we let our hair down.”
The glamourous ceremony, which was sponsored by Barclays in association with the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) and marketing agency LOCALiQ, bestowed the honour on the publishing CEO in November last year.
10 YEARS OF SUCCESS
Since its inception in 2013, Outlook Publishing has launched six magazines. It all began with this very publication, which is now celebrating its 100th edition, followed by other regional business-to-business (B2B) magazines, including APAC Outlook, EME Outlook, and North America Outlook. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the company introduced the consumer brand Outlook Travel, and has since launched its first sector-specific publication, Mining Outlook.
“We are looking to launch new products and revenue streams,” states Weaver. “Naturally, in line with this, the team will grow.”
The team in question has grown from nine individuals, when Outlook Publishing first opened its doors, to the 60-strong team it is today.
“I can see us increasing our workforce by another 10 to 15 this year alone,” he adds.
Weaver began his career on the sales floor, however, has had to take a strategic and organised approach as CEO and has stressed the importance of those attributes.
“In uncertain times such as these, I believe business owners need to have a calm and measured approach to their operations,” he reinforces. “Being proactive and getting ahead of any possible negative situations is key.
“Being in the trenches every so often gives me the opportunity to get the lay of the land and feel the pulse of the operation. I spend time walking the floor and doing my rounds, which involves speaking to individuals and departments daily.”
THE CANDIDATE STANDARD
The Director of the Year title was awarded after two rounds of judging, succeeding three other nominees. The judges commended Weaver as a “driven leader who understands his market” and recognised his clear passion for the business and the team, praising Outlook’s internal promotion structure.
There were a few other requirements to win the coveted award: contribution to strategy and growth, defined value and mission, evidenced financial growth and investment, clear and demonstrated leadership, and finally, proven resilience through challenges.
“Despite it being an individual award, it represents much, much more than that,” says Weaver. “We are one big team pulling in the same direction and we base our whole approach on being one of the best places to work in Norwich.
“Some people don’t use the word ‘family’ when describing how a business operates, but everyone who works here would agree that Outlook Publishing is one big, successful and happy family. Having that togetherness helps us ride the ups and downs which all businesses inevitably face.”
THE OUTLOOK IS BRIGHT
As a business leader and entrepreneur, Weaver has implemented more plans to accelerate the company’s growth, including pioneering a multi-channel digital approach. Over the past 10 years, the in-house design and editorial team have adapted as production has evolved, and now with its own social media team, Outlook Publishing has a solid online presence.
“Outlook Publishing has gone from strength to strength over the 10 years we have been in business, and we are confident the next 10 years will be equally as successful,” Weaver proudly says. “It hasn’t all been a bed of roses, but how we’ve dealt with struggles or unavoidable circumstances has stood us apart – and will continue to do so,” he concludes.
The award was certainly an inspirational boost for the whole team as they continue to create original and engaging content, and to quote Ben, “At Outlook, our mindset is to never settle.”