Take the Express to the Press
The secret of success
What's been the secret to Red Herring's success? According to Fox, the answer is two-fold. First, she says, it was vital to get the people involved who are charged with making it all happen. "You have to listen to their problems, their concerns," she suggests. "The other thing that helped us through this was not being afraid. Whatever we paid our consultants has been saved many times over. When you're faced with all these questions about cycle time, CTP, going bi-weekly, you can't be afraid to say, 'I don't know. I need help.' "
Even though Fox and her colleagues seemed destined for chaos with so many changes taking place at once, they held strong and worked through it together. "Although our former editorial process was the result of evolution at its worst, inertia did a marvelous job of maintaining the status quo. Yet, to go bi-weekly and take advantage of all the efficiencies that technology had to offer … we needed to completely revamp our editorial schedule. CTP was the greater good—or the scapegoat—that we used to reshape everyone's thinking and attitude about the process and procedures. It enabled us to throw out the old.
"Initially, in the days before 'The Machine,' our production schedule was haphazard and overtaxed. This led to a predictable tension between editorial, art, copyedit and production," Fox adds. "Our new workflow, and the formation of a task force that meets twice a week to trouble shoot future problems and solve current ones, turned our interdepartmental relationships a-round. We are now truly a unit, working for a common goal: putting out a fantastic magazine on time, but with no overtime!"
-Gretchen A. Kirby