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.