This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.
Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?
I joined TAPinto.net in September, 2017.
Because TAPinto Paterson existed under previous owners the site was already live, allowing me to get more comfortable with content creation and the mechanics of working the site from a technical perspective before going wide with the news of my jump into online media in October.
Q. Why did you want to franchise your own TAPinto? What made you want to choose Paterson as your TAPinto site?
In some way my entire career has focused on creating and implementing communications strategies for my employers and clients. The opportunity to take that in a new direction, developing and delivering appealing content through an already known and respected platform was too good to pass up.
Even as New Jersey’s third largest city, Paterson has long been woefully underserved by the media. I saw this over and over again firsthand as I worked with various clients to get their stories out to a wider audience.
Q. Your have an interesting background, can you tell us about it a little bit?
I have grown my career around working in and around local, state and federal government, including having the great opportunity to serve as State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg, himself a proud son of Paterson.
In 2010 I launched my own public affairs firm, Lenox Consulting, and since that time have worked with a wide array of clients ranging from non-profits to property developers, public safety unions to one of Ireland’s largest corporate law firms, helping them tell their stories to a variety of audiences.
I am also married to Aoife and together we have three sons. Born and raised in Ireland, Aoife moved back there in 2008 after many years in the US and that is where she resides and works on a full time basis. While this means we spend a lot of time apart, it also gives our children the chance to grow up in two countries, enjoying the best of both cultures.
This has also given me the chance to build a great network of contacts, and friends, in Ireland, and throughout the “Global Irish” community.
Q. What do you enjoy covering the most in Paterson?
The people I’ve met
Q. Is TAPinto full time for you or do you still work outside of the journalism world?
While TAPinto takes a great deal of time and focus I still maintain a base of other clients through Lenox Consulting.
Q. How do you think businesses and readers can best utilize TAPintoPaterson.net? What sort of advantages do you have that other advertising platforms lack?
The idea behind TAPinto is that it provides a hyper local focus on the communities in which it exists, readers will rarely see a story on TAPinto Paterson that doesn’t relate back to the city in some way.
This also extends into the sharing of opinion pieces and advertising. We continually invite readers to submit their own content, whether that may be their thoughts on a relevant topic that affects the local community, or coverage of an event, meeting, sports game, or anything else they believe readers would want to know more about.
Our platform is very easy to use for content submission, and as Editor, I make it my business to be accessible to readers to ensure that we are constantly providing the most relevant content, in a fair manner.
I am especially proud of our early efforts to support local entrepreneurs and non-profits through affordable yet meaningful online marketing opportunities. We don’t engage in “clickbait” type efforts to drive our numbers up, and if the proposed advertiser isn’t providing a relevant service to the community we serve you won’t find it on TAPinto Paterson.
Q. What are some of your business strengths? What’s something you would like to work on?
Because I enjoy meeting new people the networking and relationship building aspect of the business comes relatively easy to me. Over the years I have also developed a unique writing style that I believe appeals to readers.
I have also come to understand and accept that my way of doing something is not always the only right way, or even the best way. Putting that into practice is something I have to continue to work on, especially as we expand our pool of writers and contributors.
Q. Describe the TAPinto culture as a franchisee
TAPinto has built a supportive culture, one that wants to see every franchisee thrive, and takes concrete steps to make that a reality.
Where one franchisee may lack, another excels, and efforts exist to help each utilize those strengths to build a much stronger network.
Perhaps what I appreciate most is that the culture is also one that universally focuses on our readers. We know that every day we have earn their trust and deliver the hyperlocal news stories honestly, fairly, and quickly, in efforts to make the communities we serve stronger.
Q. What are your goals at TAPinto? Any future plans for TAPinto Paterson?
The City of Paterson has so many of the tools it needs to become a model city, and I hope TAPinto Paterson can help it reach its potential.
I truly believe that through the tremendous support of our readers TAPinto Paterson is helping to change the narrative and perception when it comes to what it is people believe Paterson is. If we can continue that, we will continue to be successful, and not only will one of America’s most historically significant cities thrive again, so too, more importantly, will the families that call it home.