Early 1990s brought in the trend of publications finalising their annual editorial plan and announcing them publicly–typically in the last quarter.
I have a feeling that the proliferation of PR agencies, during those times, played a major role in accelerating this phenomenon. Every second day, your received a call, a letter or an email seeking editorial calendar.
The Editorial Calendar enabled leading organisations, their marketing teams, and their PR agencies to align their plans around these editorial calendars. PR agencies were able to plan and propose content in alignment with the editorial calendars to the publications. The editorial teams were able to save time and resources. Ad agencies could plan the right creatives to align with the theme of the issue of the publication. It also made life a tad bit easier for editors, as they did not have to keep planning their next issue–every month.
It promised a win-win for publishers, clients and PR agencies.
But, there was a catch. Actually, many.
Rather than list all of them, I am sharing two that became our Achilles heel…
You announce your cover stories (or topics of any major section), and then something super exciting gets announced. Do you still invest your resources on a story that’s no longer so hot? Or you forget your calendar and switch to something that deserves immediate attention? What happens to your ‘promise’ via the calendar—if you go for the latter?
Second, for the announced topic, the stories trickle in. Some are decent, but some are pathetic. What do you do? Do you try and garnish bull-shit and server as a cake? Or you discard it, and again deliver lesser on your promise?
In a world of unlimited resources–perhaps these would not be an issue. But, we’re not that lucky a publisher. Not yet.
HENCE, THE DECISION.
Effective 2021, we’ve decided that we will no longer be publishing our Editorial Calendar. Instead, we will be sharing the list of key sections that we strive to drive. But, without any guarantees. We want to retain the right (and power) to throw crap content into the dustbin and not waste trees on it.
WHAT ABOUT THE ADVERTISERS?
For advertisers wanting to plan align their campaign with our editorial, our submission is:
AND, THE PR AGENCIES?
Uhmmm. Oops. Sorry.