and It’s a Sign Of Moving Ahead

It’s great to welcome an old friend, Dan Holohan, back to Plumbing & Mechanical in this month’s issue. If you think this is a step back to the past, though, stay tuned.

Dan’s not only a friend, he’s a terrific writer and keen observer of people and situations. He also knows a thing or two about hydronic heating.

In fact, hydronics was the subject of my first conversation with Dan more than 20 years ago. I was fresh from the newspaper business when my boss gave me one of Dan’s first columns for PM to edit.

I knew next to nothing about the plumbing-and-heating industry, but my boss figured at least I could edit someone else’s copy. In Dan’s case, I didn’t have to do much. I could see immediately that this guy knew how to write.

But what bothered me was this: I never had heard the words “hydronic” or “hydronics,” and I couldn’t figure out when “hydronic” or “hydronics” was the correct word choice. The meaning of the words didn’t bother me as much as Dan using them interchangeably in his column. If you know any copy editors, you understand these dilemmas can drive them to distraction.

So, I called Dan, introduced myself, exchanged a few pleasantries with him and then told him why I called. He chuckled and admitted he hadn’t noticed how he was using the words. He was writing by ear, he said, as if he was having a conversation with someone.

As an aside, it’s interesting to note that 20 years after our conversation, most people outside the plumbing-and-heating industry still don’t know what “hydronics” or “hydronic” means. Hydronic industry leaders are struggling to come up with a more customer-friendly term, as we’ve commented here and at www.PMmag.com.

Getting back to Dan, though, his conversational writing style is just part of the package. He also provides you with useful insights and solutions in columns you can look forward to reading each month.

Dan’s columns on hydronics provide a perfect complement to the writing of John Siegenthaler, who brings an engineer’s solutions to more technical hydronic topics. The two of them give PM the best coverage of the hydronics industry available anywhere.

In fact, as PM’s editor, I’m very gratified by the results of a recent Reader Preference Study in which many of you participated. More than half of you told us that our columns and editorials are the reasons you read PM every month.

About three-quarters of you said you find advice columns on plumbing and codes, hydronics, business operations and marketing to be the most useful part of reading a trade magazine. That’s why - along with John and Dan - we bring you the advice columns of Al Levi, Julius Ballanco, Paul Ridilla, Adams Hudson, Kenny Chapman and Jack Tester.

Our Reader Preference Study also reveals that an increasing number of you are getting your information electronically. When you were asked which website you find most useful compared with other websites directed at plumbing-and-heating contractors, you ranked www.PMmag.com ahead of the others by a wide margin.

We’ll continue to explore ways to combine your growing interest in e-media with the solid advice you enjoy getting from our columnists. For example, Al Levi presented a Webinar in April for which more than 200 of you registered. Dan Holohan will present a Webinar Aug. 4 at a virtual trade show produced by BNP Media and again on Sept. 27.

So, while we welcome an old friend back with this issue, Dan’s return will be anything but business as usual as we move forward to meet your information needs.

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