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Q&A with Tad Simons of Mpls/St. Paul Magazine

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Here are highlights from Stephanie Cohen’s interview with Tad Simons: 

What does a typical day look like for you?

We run a monthly magazine, and I have a daily blog and website to maintain. We are always working four to five months ahead, and also working on four or five issues simultaneously. Currently we are assigning feature stories for May and June right now. The copy for April issue is coming in now, so figuring out the art and final touches. We just finished the March issue.
A typical day is juggling all of these things more or less simultaneously. Some days I just unplug and write all day and other days like today is multi-tasking and juggling.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Answering e-mails is the most aggravating thing. Press releases are thrown at me all the time – sorting through the e-mails and organizing them all into different months and issues.

Continuing to come up with the most fresh ideas, how to recycle and re package the idea to make them look new is the most challenging part. We do a lot of “Best Of” pieces, so how to repackage those things and make them fresh is challenging. Another thing is coming up with new feature ideas and executing them. Figuring out all the different aspects of a story: headlines, art, layout, etc. to make it entertaining and readable.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?

Getting a big complicated feature story all laid out and then send it off to the printer. When it comes back and is completely done, that is the most satisfying part – to see it.

Do you see new opportunities in your work?

When I started, digital didn’t exist. The whole industry is in this “co-evolution” of print and digital. They kind of evolve together, parallel universes. Advertisers have figured out that digital ads don’t necessarily work better then print, so it is a re-emergence of effectiveness of print in terms of print and advertising. There is more balance between magazine and digital presentation. Figuring out how to elegantly present the magazine on the web – that was the big problem and challenge. It is a new frontier, a lot has stayed exactly the same on the day-to-day work and thinking about stories and ideas is all the same just a matter on how to package them and present them on different platforms. Now we have more platforms to do this and they are not necessarily competing, more complementary. Videos, contests, these things are the trick to figure out how to engage the print and digital audiences together and “cough up some money somewhere. Print is not going to go away anytime soon, digital is still morphing, iPad is all brand new, mobile is new – just have to figure out what works and what doesn’t. 

Written by jour3155fall2012

March 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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