Do you take time to step outside your industry and take a look around? If not, you could be doing a great disservice to your publication and readers.
For many editors, you probably work 40-plus hours a week with the goal of producing a quality magazine that will appeal to your readers. You’re pulled in many directions, and your duty list only gets longer each day. Well, here’s another thing to add to your list: Get your head out of the cave and take a look around. Are you really in touch with your readers and the industry? Seriously.
Previously, I worked on a magazine where ego was a must for the industry. Everyone has one – including the magazine staff. As a newbie to the industry and magazine, I brought a different perspective. I questioned things that were never questioned, I made comments that seemed elementary to them, and I suggested changes that seemed unnecessary to them. And I was left scratching my head. Why weren’t they utilizing a different perspective? Why didn’t they see that not everyone in the industry is an expert or has the same experience as them? Why not take a fresh look at the industry and magazine, and see if we can do things better?
Knowing your industry and readers is number one when you’re working tirelessly to produce a magazine. But thinking you know everything can actually hurt your product. If you have a new intern or employee on staff, take advantage of their fresh eyes. Ask them to take an honest look at what you’re doing. And ask for feedback. Not everything needs to be upward communication. Interns and other new staff members bring perspective that you need to appreciate.
If you hire someone new and your goal is to simply teach them everything you know, and ask them to regurgitate it back, you aren’t learning or improving. You aren’t improving, your magazine isn’t improving and your process is doomed to be stagnate. Swallow your ego and take a look at what your new colleagues see. You’ll be a better employee for it, and produce a better product.