Why has Electronics For You team scrapped its editorial calendar? Here’s our submission…
Early 1990s brought in the trend of publications finalising their annual editorial plan and announcing them publicly–typically in the last quarter of the year.
I have a feeling that the proliferation of PR agencies, during those times, played a major role in accelerating this phenomenon. Every second day, one received a call, a letter or an email seeking our editorial calendar for the next FY.
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 editorial calendars to respective publications.
Editorial teams were able to save time and resources–they were getting content (or content ideas) without investing any 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 serve as a cake to your readers? Or you discard them, and again deliver lesser on your promise?
In a world of unlimited resources–perhaps these would not be a challenge. 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:
- Our readers do NOT change much based on the stories we publish. Our subscribers remain the same–from issue to issue, except those who exit or join in new. Our news-stands readers too, are pretty much consistent. They don’t stop reading EFY because we did a story on Oscilloscopes, or buy it because we have one on sensors.
- The better way to plan would be to identify your target audience and align it with the key editorial sections of Electronics For You. For example, if you’re target Design Engineers or R&D folks, then you want to place your advertisement in the Design section of the magazine, and not the Business section.
- Print does not work like Google Search. While it’s nice to see ads of banks when you search for Home Loans on Google, in print—you see those ads along with editorial, and you suspect that the editorial is all paid. Online is about convenience, while print is about trust. Nutshell: You DO NOT WANT to place your ad next to the story on the topic. The story and your ad lose credibility.
AND, THE PR AGENCIES?
Uhmmm. Oops. Sorry.
PS: Would love to receive your feedback and comments below…