One of the most challenging parts of my job each year is to develop the editorial calendar. Locksmith Ledger has 12 full issues each year plus a 13th manufacturer/distributor reference issue called The Security Register. Each of the 12 issues contains sub-topics such as a cover focus, product focus, special report, installations & techniques, plus electronic and automotive features.
Somewhere in the July/August period I start with a large sheet of graph paper, write in the headings of January through December, and try to determine what’s hot and what’s not. Invariably some new items appear in the marketplace and take precedence over planned topics. This year the quick-change locks from Schlage and Kwikset have been prime examples.
After many years spent in the magazine business, I have learned that there will always be something new coming along.
The most difficult part of developing the editorial calendar each year is in deciding what you, the subscriber, want to read. There is a fine line between wants and needs. It may be interesting to learn how to install window tinfoil for an alarm system or file bit keys by hand, but there is little profit to be made with those skills if there is no customer demand.
A few weeks ago a subscriber called to say that he wanted to see more automotive articles. His business is located in a rural county and he specializes in automotive work. At almost the same time another subscriber sent in a letter applauding us for having articles on electronic access control.
Whether the discussion is about automotive or building security, the general movement of the locksmith industry in the last ten years has been towards a greater dependency on electronics. Mechanical locksmithing will not go away. There will still be a need for traditional locksmithing procedures. We try our best to maintain an editorial balance between the wants and needs of every reader.
So the question is: What do you want to see in your magazine? Please take a moment to give us your opinions. Every subscriber is important to us and every suggestion will be taken into consideration.
Contact: Gale.Johnson@cygnuspub.com, 847-454-2703, Locksmith Ledger, 3030 Salt Creek Lane, Suite 200, Arlington Heights, IL 60005