Thursday, 2 May 2013

Calling all editors - Is there anybody out there?

54 - that's the last count of trade magazines that land on my desk every month. All of which are producing circulation certificates boasting of their unrivalled ability to reach our customers. Which is of course how they attempt to justify their ridiculous advertising rates.

4 - that's the last count of trade magazines that land on my desk every month that are worth reading.

The only reason the other 50 even make it out of he plastic packaging is so that I can put them in the recycling bin.

Why are there so many sub-standard publications out there? I can't help feeling that it's because the art of editing the content is slowly but surely disappearing. Far too many - over 90% as far as I can make out - simply copy and paste badly written press releases from corporate marketing departments. Most of the people writing these articles have had no formal training on how to construct decent copy so it makes for painful reading.

I can't really blame the marketing people for this though - they've got a job to do which involves presenting their company in the best light possible. Why not fill the news release with boasts of how wonderful they are and how their products will change the world? It's not like there are any editors (in the truest sense of the word) checking the copy.

The blame here has to lie with the editors - a little bit of simple fact checking wouldn't hurt would it? For example, I came across an article today where the headline looked familiar. As I read on the whole article had a familiar feel to it.

I checked back through our records and found an article from over 12 months ago with the same headline and broadly similar copy published in the same magazine. Surely the editors of the magazine have a responsibility to ensure that the material they are publishing is accurate in the first instance, and original in the second?

I'm not that bothered by our material being blatantly copied by others in our industry - it displays a complete lack of imagination on their part. If this is their approach to marketing I'd be fairly sure it's replicated throughout their business which we can only take as positive.

However, I'd expect more from the trade magazines who for the most part fail to recognise that it is only by publishing genuine, interesting articles that their publications will survive in a massively competitive environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment