Ideally, in working on content for an issue of your magazine, all the content comes in on schedule and ready for editing. However, this ideal isn’t always realistic. And sometimes you know in advance that a particular article will be delayed, so you can plan for how to incorporate the article without too much disruption.
An example of this situation could be in a print magazine for a ministry. If you know that a ministry leader is retiring, and you want to announce the new leader in a timely fashion in the magazine, then you might need to hold space for this announcement.
Here are some steps to take while you are waiting for a last-minute article:
- Keep all the other content moving through edits, design, and review. Don’t let that one piece distract you from the regular timelines that keep a high level of quality in the rest of your magazine.
- Determine ahead of time how much page space and what the word count will be for the last-minute article. This will help your designer hold appropriate space for the article. Also, it means they will only have to deal with the layout for the late article, with minimal impact on other layouts.
- If possible, write some of the article in advance, or at least work on a template for the piece. In the example of a new leader, you won’t know the name and biography of the new leader, but you can write up information about a smooth leadership transition, the prayers and wise decisions that lead to this point, and the organizational vision and context. Then when the name and other information are released, it will be simple to add it to the article.
- Make sure that you have a few people lined up to review and edit the article. Even if it isn’t ready yet, if you know that the article sign-off will happen on September 1, make sure that key people on your team hold that day open for a last-minute quality check. You don’t want your key proofreader out on a day when timing is crucial.
- Be sure to check with your printer, to make sure they are holding your press space for the final magazine. If your organizational deadline will mean missing the regular print schedule, the further in advance you know this and communicate with your printer, the more likely you can figure out another plan.
Planning for exceptions will help you keep calm and keep the flow of work moving forward. So, make your plan, take a deep breath, and say a prayer. Then keep on moving forward with the content you have for your magazine.
by Carla Foote, Fine Print Editorial
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash