Last week, the Prairie Farmer staff sat down for about four hours to outline the next 12 months of content.
While it may sound crazy to plan a year in advance, in our business it's necessary. First, it makes us pay attention to what sort of seasonal stories we can include in the magazine. After all, a planter tune-up story wouldn't make a whole lot of sense in August.
More importantly, planning ahead is a must when you write for a monthly magazine. Newspapers enjoy the luxury of reporting on the day's news. As a monthly, the same story is long overdue by the time the issue hits your mailbox.
Along those same lines, we wouldn't want to write a story on a topic that's constantly changing. ACRE is a good example of this. With a lead time of about three weeks, our information would be outdated by the time the ink dries.
Lastly, planning allows us to take a big topic, such as fungicides, and work on it for a couple of months before you actually see the story. The goal is to cover the topic from a variety of entry points. With fungicides, we can hit on costs, application windows, what's new, custom vs. self application, etc. all in one large article.
Now that you know our process, I'd like to invite you to join in. If you have a story idea, please send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know. Or, is there something you'd like more information on? Those types of inquiries also make great stories.