This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by features editor Richard Howard.
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A BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE….
DON’T get me wrong as features editor on the Mail and a keen angler, I count myself very lucky to be working on this successful weekly angling title.
And most of the time I look forward coming into Mail HQ to do an honest day’s graft on a subject that I have a genuine interest in.
Highlights of the week with my ‘speccy head’ on, are putting across a strong instructional feature from the likes of Col Davidson – the ‘thinking anglers’ carper – I don’t know how Col does it every week. Or from Andy Browne, Steve Lockett, Pete Reading, Andy Black, Steve Rowley, Brian Gay the list goes on. We do have a very strong team.
At the other end of the scale a bad or should I say stressful day at work regularly seems to be centred around our ‘Which’ type reviews of tackle or Quick Comparisons.
The way it works is that we come up with an idea – 12 ft 3 lb test Carp Rods for under £100, 11-12 ft Method Feeder Rods etc and we e-mail the trade asking them to send any products they have fitting that description in, complete with full specs and RRPs.
Now it makes sense to pitch for probably five different sets of products, for different features, so the whole lot can be sent off in the ‘dispatch’. Then we can have five features being worked on at the same time.
Now if we’re pitching on five different features to say 10 different manufacturers (it can be 15-plus) potentially that’s 50-plus products that can arrive at Mail HQ to sort through, then split up and send out to different reviewers.
Now this should be a relatively straightforward job, unpack said product, put the accompanying paperwork, which we’ve requested – price and specs – in five separate files. Box up the assortment of rods, reels, waggler floats, etc and send it out with the details to a reviewer to review ‘head to head’.
But here lies the problem. And during my many years on the Mail it drives me to despair, manufacturers sending products in – but without any details either in the post with said product, or via e-mail.
If you consider that potentially with 50-plus products, that could mean 50 searches on different manufacturers websites, that take different times to load up, can be difficult to navigate round, and then when you get there still don’t have a price on them, it’s a hell of a lot of wasted time. And on a weekly magazine complete with iPad edition – it’s time we haven’t got to waste.
Some of you are very good about submitting detail about your product, some of you are very poor.
If I was media manager or press officer for one of the major players in the angling trade I would want a reviewer to be fully armed with all the innovative features of my ‘all singing all dancing’ product and a price to ensure that errors or omissions weren’t made on publication. It amazes me some of you don’t feel the same, however you can be very quick to complain if something’s wrong.
Surely this information is at the press of a button at your end, and you can attach/cut and paste it via an e-mail or print it out and enclose it with the product? Rather than leaving it to a journalist to navigate, phone, work through your tackle catalogues to find details on a product that you want exposure on!
ALL THOSE BIG TENCH. Tench are THE species that you associate with the start of the season and boy have we got some crackers for you this week in the Mail! Check out page 6 for a trio of 12 lb-plus crackers.
EFTTEX SHOW NEW TACKLE. The European Fishing Tackle Trade Exhibition, this year in Vienna, Austria always throws up some interesting new products. There’s a six page special in this weeks Mail. And more to come next week…
FISH DISEASES AND PARASITES. This weeks informative Fish Diseases and Parasites All The Answers ‘special’ is a stark reminder how we all need to ‘do our bit’ to help prevent the spread of fish disease. Dry your nets, unhooking mats, sacks and slings out between trips and keep a carp care kit in your tackle box. It’s a start.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
The new Longleat Fishing & Country Show looks like it was a success. Long may it continue. Check out Korda ‘ head honcho’ Danny Fairbrass below.
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