Updating our calendar

Blogs Lucas Deal December 31, 2013

For those of you who don’t know, it’s common in the publishing business for magazines — and trade magazines like this one, specifically — to release an editorial calendar before an upcoming year to notify advertisers, marketing firms and readers about what’s to come.

Truck Parts & Service has done this for decades.

But the publishing business isn’t the same industry it was decades ago. Things have significantly changed. In an effort to keep up, Truck Parts & Service also has changed. Our editorial calendar, that is.

Truck Parts & Service has not changed and has no intention of ever changing its mission — “to help readers run their businesses more efficiently, productively and profitably” — but how we organize and schedule our editorial content is getting a much needed facelift.

Instead of releasing a complete editorial calendar for 2014 today, we have instead released an abbreviated calendar showcasing only the product and technology stories we hope to cover in the next 12 months. All of our other feature content will be decided on the fly.

(For a link to our product and technology calendar, please check out the Truck Parts & Service media kit and all other Randall Reilly media kits HERE.)

The reason for this is simple. The aftermarket isn’t a stagnant industry. Things happen. News happens. What’s important today might not matter on Dec. 31, 2014. And it’s our belief that penciling in stories today for a magazine you won’t see for 365 days doesn’t make sense.

So instead of trying to guess, educated as our guess may be, about what you’ll want to read next year, we’ve decided to wait and let the market dictate what graces the pages of Truck Parts & Service.

Beginning today with the announcement of our April cover story (below), we will now be publicizing the editorial content for our upcoming editions just three months in advance. This will allow us to select cover stories that are as informative and newsworthy as possible, and provide you the most update to date information we can offer.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a definite improvement over trying to decide in October what’s worth reading the following December. That’s not good for either of us.

So moving forward, be sure to check out my blog at the end of every month, as it is here that I will reveal what stories are on tap for the coming months.

And if you see a story you like, or a topic you know, speak up. A journalist can never have too many sources.

What’s on tap in Truck Parts & Service?

January: The State of the Aftermarket (cover story); The benefits of selling aerodynamic products

February: Profile of the 2013 ‘Distributor of the Year’ (cover); Convincing your customers to retread

March: The impacts of fleet consolidation on aftermarket business (cover); An update on the Right to Repair movement; Trailer maintenance tips

April: Why you need to consider new product lines (cover); What the EPA’s 2014 emission regulations mean in the aftermarket

Lucas Deal is the editor of Truck Parts & Service and Successful Dealer. He can be reached at lucasdeal@randallreilly.com.

You can follow me on twitter at @lddeal85