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PETS+ Named Finalist for One of B2B Publishing’s Highest Honors




It’s a contender for ‘Best Single Issue’ in the Neal Awards.

MONTCLAIR, NJ – Though barely over a year old, PETS+ has been named one of the finalists in a key category of the most prestigious awards in business-to-business journalism, the Jesse H. Neal Awards.

PETS+ was honored in what is almost certainly the Neal Awards’ most hotly competed category – Best Single Issue of a Tabloid/Newspaper/Magazine. Other finalists in the revenue category (under $3 million) include Foodservice Equipment Reports, Plate, and Teacher. 

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in New York City on April 5, 2018.

PETS+ was recognized for its July-August 2017 “America’s Coolest Stores” issue. In that issue, Editor-in-Chief Ralf Kircher, Senior Editor Pamela Mitchell and the rest of the PETS+ team solicited dozens of entries from some of the country’s most innovative pet stores and pet service providers, then let a team of industry and expert judges vote on the very best of the best. The competition’s three top winners received in-depth coverage in the July-August issue, with honorable-mention winners featured throughout the rest of the year. The lead feature’s fun, energizing design was provided by SmartWork Media design editor Victor Cantal.


“To be considered for a ‘best single issue’ award at such an early stage of the magazine’s existence just shows what an amazing publication our team is putting out,” said David Squires, SmartWork Media group editorial director. “I couldn’t be prouder of Ralf, Pamela, Victor and the whole PETS+ team.”

It’s not the first time PETS+ has been lauded for excellence. In 2017, the PETS+ Online Bulletin took first-place honors in Folio’s Eddie & Ozzie Awards for best business-to-business digital newsletter.

“In 35 years in the pet industry, I have never seen a brand-new magazine earn as many awards and nominations as PETS+ has earned in publishing competitions this year,” said Craig Rexford. “It shows that the pet industry finally has a truly great voice that needs to be heard.”

Launched in January 2017, PETS+ has received a wildly enthusiastic reception from 30,000 pet-industry readers around the country. (See dozens of “Reader Raves” about PETS+ here.) 

In addition to the finalist nod for PETS+, SmartWork Media’s oldest publication, INSTORE, received three additional nods. The magazine for jewelry retailers was named a finalist in the categories of best website, best instructional content and best editorial use of data.


The four honors were SmartWork’s highest number of nominations ever from the Neal Awards.

The company has earned 111 awards since 2004, making the company one of the most highly decorated publishers, per title, in the world.



NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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