Last week, as we do every year, Dr. Jim Barrett, professor
of 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 editorial
calendar. Joint meetings between sales and editorial spilled out of all
day-sessions into dinners and homework. We only had two days to reevaluate our
article 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-draft
editorial 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 pieces
and z space for the dreaded business management pieces.
Why do you, our readers, care about this process? Most of
you don’t know, and don’t want to know, how GPN comes together
every month — you just care that it arrives regularly in your mailbox and
that it contains the best production, management and cultural information available.
Well that’s no accident.
Many of you will remember the complete
redesign/repositioning we underwent four years ago this month — the one
that changed GPN from a product-based magazine to a reader-friendly,
research-based one. We shifted from publishing mostly new product releases to
covering the latest information on how to produce better plants and run a
We made that shift after much debate and investigation
— we made it because our investigations told us that growers had a real
need for the kind of information that we now publish every month in GPN. We
continue to be a technically oriented, production-based magazine because our
research, both through reader surveys and through less-formal grower
interviews, confirms that our growers/readers still crave this kind of
information — not “ivory tower” explorations just for the
sake of knowledge but independent research on issues that have direct application
to daily production and that have been conducted by recognized experts.
Articles such as Jim Barrett’s coverage of PGRs and Calibrachoas on page
8 that details the latest research on how to control growth on this popular
We believe our July Short Course issue demonstrates better
than any other what GPN is as a magazine. It’s no accident that our July
issue features the industry’s best researchers and consultants. We
showcase authors like Dr. Ann Chase (see page 30), Dr. Jim Barrett (see page
8), 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, because
they provide the best information available. By going directly to the source,
instead of gleaning information from conferences and through interviews, both
of which can be miscommunicated, we know that our readers receive the accurate,
timely information needed to run a better business. And that’s what GPN
is all about — helping our readers become more successful. It pervades
every page of the magazine, from my editor’s report to the way we cover
news to the articles we cover to our most recent column addition: Roger
Styer’s “Final Word,” which will cover Roger’s opinions
about marketing, production and industry trends (see page 154 for summer
So every year in early summer, we sit down to go over what
GPN offers. We think about who we are as a magazine, what changes have taken
place in the industry and most importantly, what our readers want to
know/learn/read. And every year, this process gets easier and easier. Maybe
it’s because we’re getting accustomed to going through this
process, but I prefer to think that it’s because GPN is more in touch
with our readers and because we are getting better and better at partnering
with the right experts for the right job.