Coping With Those Dreaded Ezine Publishing Deadlines

Time, of course, doesn't stand still and never did, and it'sno wonder at all that in this highly pressurized modernworld of ours, time is regarded as a valuable commodity orprecious resource.

Articles, books and courses on Time Management abound onlineand off. What is interesting is that the higher a person ispositioned in a business or professional hierarchy, the morehe or she is perceived as standing to benefit from athorough knowledge of time management principles.

You can argue where editors and writers of emailpublications fit - or should fit - in the economic or socialpecking order, but one thing's beyond dispute: they have asgreat a need, and maybe more so, to organize their time asany other class of people.

A major reason for this is the ominous scepter alwayshovering over the heads of all publishers: that dreadeddeadline.

The shorter the interval between issues, the more immediatethe threat, and the greater the sense of panic. On the otherhand, the danger may be greater when a deadline stills seemsa long way off, since one may be lulled into a false senseof security.

Creating or compiling a top-notch newsletter may be toughenough when this is your only responsibility, but when yourpublication is a one-man show, and you have to promote it aswell, run your advertising department and all the rest ofit, time management takes on extra meaning.

And when your newsletter is only one cog (albeit a veryimportant one) in the chain of your business, the wholeconcept becomes a critical one. Sooner or later, you come tothe inevitable conclusion that if you fail to master time,time will master you.

Practice, persistence and experience are vital keywords inpersonal time management, and everyone has to find whatworks best for them. We can only offer a few assorted tipsand guidelines from the newsletter publishing perspective.

  • Always keep to the publication deadlines that you have setand announced. If you find that the schedule you haveimposed upon yourself turns out to be too ambitious, changeit and let your readers know.

    Sometimes, if people find your content particularlyinteresting and they're only too happy when it arrives atlast, they won't complain when delivery is late orirregular. But even among your satisfied subscribers, theremay be some who have got into a ritual of reading yournewsletter over their morning tea, or whatever. These folkwill start grumbling even if an issue arrives an hour laterthan usual. When they do, you can take it as a compliment!

  • A beautiful little story that has been going the roundsover the last year or two illustrates our next point.

    A professor was giving a pep talk about managing time to hisclass, and produced an empty bottle, which he filled withheavy stones. Then he filled the remaining little spaceswith sand and water. His students thought he was trying toteach them that you can always pack in something more intoyour day.

    "No," said the professor. "That's not the lesson. What I'mtrying to get across to you is that if you don't start yourday with the most difficult (or most important) tasks, youwon't get around to them at all."

    How this applies to you as a publisher, I'll leave to yourimagination. You know your own working conditions, goals andshortcomings.

  • Make a permanent template with your nameplate, masthead,subscription instructions and all other standing elements ofyour newsletter. Immediately after you have finished withone issue, open a new file in your word processor or texteditor, and paste or insert your template into it. (Don'tforget to change the date, issue number and anything elsethat needs to be changed.

    As soon as you think of something you would like to includein the next issue, type it up right away on your new file.Paste any news items there as soon as you receive them, aswell as any ads that come in from third parties. Open newfiles as required for material that comes in for issuesfurther down the line.

  • The editorial staff of conventional print newspapers andmagazines have always depended heavily on good filingsystems to aid them in carrying out their dutiesefficiently. Putting together an issue is so much easierwhen you have a whole storehouse of facts, figures, researchpapers and ideas on tap.

    But your collection of material is only as good as itsaccessibility. You must be able to find things quickly whenyou need them. Even the smallest publishers can't relyentirely on their memories.

    In our digital world, however, this should hardly be aproblem. It's just a matter of organizing our computerfiles, and thank goodness, we don't have the space problemsthat plagued some of our predecessors in years gone by!

    Azriel Winnett is creator of - Your Communication Skills Portal. This popular free website helps you improve your communication and relationship skills in your business or professional life, in the family unit and on the social scene. New articles added almost daily.

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