Putting together this month’s cover story reminded me of an inside joke at GCI that we could do an entire issue on bunkers – sand, liners, maintenance, player expectations, labor allocation … you name it – and it would quickly become a fan favorite. For that matter, would you, the reader, object to issues devoted solely to managing Poa annua, or greens maintenance, or career development, or even Travels With Terry? Heck, we could even devote entire months on water consumption and construction – oh, wait … we already do that (July and October, respectively).
My point is, our editorial philosophy is for GCI to be the superintendent’s solutions provider. It’s the litmus test we place every article, feature and column up against: Where’s the value in it for the reader, and what can they take away that improves performance?
This is why we seek out partnerships with industry suppliers who share our philosophy and who are not only making valuable investments into turf maintenance, but are providing golf course superintendents with innovative solutions that save time, money and resources.
Most importantly, the interactions we have with you fuel many of our decisions. Throughout the year, we make a point of being where you are, and to experience the issues firsthand with you.”
Most importantly, the interactions we have with you fuel many of our decisions. Throughout the year, we make a point of being where you are, and to experience firsthand the issues with you. Editorial inspiration may stem from casual conversations at an industry show, during a cocktail reception at a supplier event, while engaged in a course visit, or following an association meeting. And a few “Eureka!” moments have even sprung up during a university field day. In our conversations with superintendents, we’re constantly rotating questions like: “Tell me about your course?” “What’s your greatest challenge?” and even “What do you want to read about?”
Afterwards, this insight is brought back to the GCI editorial offices and thrown into our collective mental hoppers for processing. It’s there we begin to connect the dots. We start to weave the threads of story direction and narrow our focuses. Reader value and expectations are accessed and formed into the final product.
With that said, one of the greatest problems we have as an edit team is an overabundance of great content that can’t be shared in print. So in between issues, we supplement a lot of our edit content with exclusives in the issue’s digital edition and bi-weekly Fast & Firm enewsletters, GCI’s unique web-only content, and engaging podcasts on Superintendent Radio Network.
It’s important to share our perspective on issue and story development with you so you know where we’re coming from with regard to story and topic selection every month, with each social media post, and within the structure of an enewsletter. We want to provide readers with solutions that have real value, and not more clutter for their inboxes.
So, don’t hesitate to let us know how we’re doing, what stories you enjoy or hate, and even what topics we should devote a whole issue to in the future.