Rely on an Expert
Last week, as we do every year, Dr. Jim Barrett, professorof floriculture at the University of Florida and GPN’s consulting editor,came to the office for a 2-day visit to plan next year’s editorialcalendar. Joint meetings between sales and editorial spilled out of allday-sessions into dinners and homework. We only had two days to reevaluate ourarticle mix and our list of authors and set a path for the next 12 months.
Now that it’s all over, we have a first-drafteditorial calendar that looks pretty good, if you don’t mind my bragging.We planned out x space for pest/disease articles, y space for marketing piecesand z space for the dreaded business management pieces.
Why do you, our readers, care about this process? Most ofyou don’t know, and don’t want to know, how GPN comes togetherevery month — you just care that it arrives regularly in your mailbox andthat it contains the best production, management and cultural information available.Well that’s no accident.
Many of you will remember the completeredesign/repositioning we underwent four years ago this month — the onethat changed GPN from a product-based magazine to a reader-friendly,research-based one. We shifted from publishing mostly new product releases tocovering the latest information on how to produce better plants and run abetter business.
We made that shift after much debate and investigation— we made it because our investigations told us that growers had a realneed for the kind of information that we now publish every month in GPN. Wecontinue to be a technically oriented, production-based magazine because ourresearch, both through reader surveys and through less-formal growerinterviews, confirms that our growers/readers still crave this kind ofinformation — not “ivory tower” explorations just for thesake of knowledge but independent research on issues that have direct applicationto daily production and that have been conducted by recognized experts.Articles such as Jim Barrett’s coverage of PGRs and Calibrachoas on page8 that details the latest research on how to control growth on this popularcrop.
The Cream of the Crop
We believe our July Short Course issue demonstrates betterthan any other what GPN is as a magazine. It’s no accident that our Julyissue features the industry’s best researchers and consultants. Weshowcase authors like Dr. Ann Chase (see page 30), Dr. Jim Barrett (see page8), Dr. Roger Styer (see page 34), Dr. Jim Faust (see page 56), Stan Pohmer(see page 44) and Dr. Rick Schoellhorn (see page 138), to name a few, becausethey provide the best information available. By going directly to the source,instead of gleaning information from conferences and through interviews, bothof which can be miscommunicated, we know that our readers receive the accurate,timely information needed to run a better business. And that’s what GPNis all about — helping our readers become more successful. It pervadesevery page of the magazine, from my editor’s report to the way we covernews to the articles we cover to our most recent column addition: RogerStyer’s “Final Word,” which will cover Roger’s opinionsabout marketing, production and industry trends (see page 154 for summermarketing ideas).
So every year in early summer, we sit down to go over whatGPN offers. We think about who we are as a magazine, what changes have takenplace in the industry and most importantly, what our readers want toknow/learn/read. And every year, this process gets easier and easier. Maybeit’s because we’re getting accustomed to going through thisprocess, but I prefer to think that it’s because GPN is more in touchwith our readers and because we are getting better and better at partneringwith the right experts for the right job.