Who needs editorial opportunities, anyway?

Once a year, magazine editors undergo a painful ritual: They create editorial calendars. These calendars are little more than lists of topics the editors plan to cover in the upcoming year. Putting together one of these calendars involves a good bit of crystal-ball gazing in hopes of spotting what will be the year’s hot topics. If the editors make the wrong call, or something new and exciting comes along they didn’t anticipate, they change the calendar. It’s not big deal—no one takes editorial calendars very seriously, anyway, except public relations people and publishers.

Lately, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: I’ve been getting many (too many) e-mails and phone calls from PR people who want to know more about the “editorial opportunity” in this or that month of the editorial calendar. This “opportunity,” at least as PR people see it, is for them to get us to write about their clients.

Maybe you’ve noticed we don’t write about companies unless we really, really have to. We’d rather talk to these companies’ customers because they’re our readers (we hope so, anyway). I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hearing about how Product X is going to revolutionize the market; I don’t care if the CEO of Acme Conglomerate has a “strategic vision,” and I sure as hell could live happily ever after without ever seeing another PowerPoint presentation.

Today, we’re launching three new blogs that we hope will allow you and us to communicate better about whatever’s on your minds. It’s the kind stuff that would be on the editorial calendar, if we had our A game on when we compiled it. Rather than being an editorial opportunity for PR people; it’s an opportunity for us to learn what’s on your mind, and if you’ll indulge us, to tell you what’s on ours.

Let us know from time to time how we’re doing, and what you would like to see in the magazine and on this Web site. We hope you’ll see that as the real editorial opportunity.

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