If by some chance, your magazine media company prints one of those old school print magazines, someone on the production team is probably working on the 2016 production schedule. If they’re a rock-star production manager, the schedule is complete.
And if, by some chance, your print magazine has paid circulation, you may have some newsstand circulation.
And if you have newsstand circulation, you may even have someone looking at the production schedule and the editorial calendar and trying to figure out what issues should be promoted.
The sales of premiere retail space took off in the last decade as publishers looked for a way to distinguish the display of their magazines on the crowded mainlines and prop up sagging print orders. In a corner of the industry where planning and analysis used to be very ad-hoc, the advent of Pay on Scan data and the online accessibility of Order/Regulation reports has greatly improved our ability to target markets and classes of trade.
Even so, old habits are hard to break. With newsstand circulation now accounting for smaller and smaller pieces of the audience pie, it sometimes hard to get publishers to focus and commit to promoting a special issue.
Fall will be here in a few weeks and by that time, ideally, you should have your production schedule and promotional plans in place for the coming year.
Or at least an outline.
Or maybe an idea of what you’d like to do.
Or a hint of an idea.
With that goal in mind (As well as a craving for pie), I took a very informal survey of some colleagues and asked them how their 2016 planning was coming along. These were their responses boiled down into six typical categories: