March 21, 2016
Dog Ear Consultants
So we’re kind of excited about the Editor’s Forum, which kicks off today in San Antonio. Our own Mo Harmon has served as the co-chair along with Steven Saum of Santa Clara Magazine, and Dan Morrell, another Dog Ear partner, will offer a session on niche publications with Sheila Haar Siegel, former editor of SCRIPT, the alumni magazine of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. (Dan is the former editor of the WIT Magazine, from Wentworth Institute of Technology, and the current editor of HBS Alumni Bulletin, the alumni magazine of Harvard Business School.)
Plus—and let’s be frank here—it’s Texas in March. The northeast folks (DEC partners live in Ohio, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania) are clamoring for a little sunshine, margaritas, and TexMex.
Given all of that, let’s remember that the CASE Editor’s Forum is only a two-and-a-half-day event. So how do you make the most of it? Here are the three mistakes to avoid during this short jaunt south.
1) Don’t Sit In Your Room and Watch Law and Order Reruns Hunched Over Room Service
We’ll just come out and say Mo is totally guilty of this. It’s a bit of a running joke around here. But don’t be Mo. You might want to take the opportunity to enjoy your respite from desk life with a night of mid-life bacchanalia: unhealthy food, mini-bar wine, and poorly drawn crime dramas. (Mo: “Hey. That’s not fair. I do order salad.”) Don’t do it. There are several opportunities to meet other introverted writer types for drinks and long, angry discussions about Class Notes. It will be much more cathartic than watching Chris Noth paint by the numbers. Promise.
2) Don’t Keep to Your Crew
We often travel in packs. We get it. But there are dine-around opportunities (at some pretty tasty places, we should mention) that allow you to co-mingle with people outside your staff comfort zone. Our rule of thumb: One dine-around dinner, one night to hang with the crew. See what connections you can make, but still have the chance to enjoy time away from the office with staffers and fellow editor pals.
3) Don’t Go Without an Agenda
There really is a lot to do. And there really isn’t much time to do it. Map out your days. If you’re traveling with staff or know folks from other schools in attendance make sure you opt for different sessions so you can trade notes later.
And if you have specific questions that you need answered (“Is anyone else having issues with free interns asking for extra water?”), seek out answers. Considering a redesign? Book a dine-around with someone who just finished one. Need advice launching a website? Find that magazine that does it well and ask them how they got there.
Oh, and take a session to dip out and soak up that sun. We won’t tell your bosses.