Many things have changed over the last decade for the DDN team – staff, premises, and even the introduction of canine office mascots. But after ten years, everything still comes together on the magazine’s press day.
It’s half past eight in the morning on the last Thursday of the month – the lights go up, the kettle goes on, and things are kicking off for another DDN press day.
Throughout the last month, the team has been pulling together the different strands of the magazine, all the while juggling a number of other projects – some related to DDN, and some completely distinct from it.
Claire, Kayleigh and David have been working on the editorial features, Ian and Annie have been pinning down advertising leads, and Jez has started the designing process for the upcoming issue.
Today is the culmination of all of this effort – but there’s still plenty of work to be done. Jez prints out the features he has already created on Quark Xpress, and David gets to work proofing them for grammar, factual errors and anything else that is out of place.
Claire uses the morning to read and edit any editorial that has come in past the deadline, as well as summarising her thoughts on this month’s issue for her editor’s letter. There is always some zero-hour fact to be checked or author headshot to be chased in – and Kayleigh’s morning is usually spent tying up loose ends.
Meanwhile, Annie updates the mailing list – removing addresses that no longer need the magazine, and adding new subscribers. After ten years, DDN is still a free, self-funded publication, but we do ask that organisations pass copies around and share the magazine to help us keep costs down.
When Jez isn’t creating editorial pages, he and Ian work together to set adverts, so that our advertisers can see a proof before we publish the magazine – we want to offer everyone who advertises with DDN the best customer care we can provide.
Lunchtime arrives, and we’ve still got a long afternoon ahead of us – what’s on the menu can make or break the day. Publishing pups Ziggy and Bella go for a much-needed run (they’ve had an exhausting day of supervising the office, after all) and owners Claire and Ian pick up the team lunch order from the local sandwich shop on their way back. The team dig in to well-deserved sandwiches – the only quiet part of the entire day.
The afternoon rolls on, and Jez prints out the last few pages of the magazine to be proofread by David. Kayleigh is the next in line for the proofing process, making any changes that need to be made to each article, and giving them a second read-through.
Amendments to adverts are made – occasionally we get a last minute booking that we weren’t expecting, which is always a good problem to have. Ian creates an ad list for every issue, so that he knows what advert will go on what page. He works with Claire to decide what size each issue will be, depending on how much advertising we get and how much editorial there is, and finally Claire creates a flatplan for each person to work from.
We’ve always been a small team, so press days usually entail a fair bit of multi-tasking for everyone. No hands are left idle, and it’s important that we keep our channels of communication open so that, even with several plates spinning at the same time, no mistakes are made.
When all the editorial pages have been proofed and corrected, Claire has her final check through them before she signs off the editorial – Jez can then prepare them to be sent to our printers.
The day draws to a close, and the DDN team breathe a sigh of relief… until the next morning anyway, when the advert pages of the magazine are also finalised and prepared to be printed. Ian will take adverts right up until the end of the day – we depend on advertising to fund every issue, so every advert counts. Our accounts whizz Chrissie will then create invoices for all of our advertising clients, and get them out of the door with a hard copy of the magazine.
In the afternoon, Annie makes recruitment and tender adverts live on the website – being featured online is part of the package when someone buys a print advert. Kayleigh prepares the editorial features to go up on the DDN website after the weekend – along with the virtual magazine – just in time for when the printed magazine will start landing on the desks of our faithful readers.
And just as you’re opening up your latest issue, we start thinking about the next.
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