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What does an editorial advisory board do, anyway? Most trade magazines have one in some form or fashion, but to some, this board’s role might be unclear.
Some boards — including the one for this magazine, listed on the masthead to the right — consist of members of the profession. Boards for other trade publications can include interested parties who are not members of the profession the magazine covers.
Whatever the makeup of boards, their roles tend to be similar. In the case of Maintenance Solutions, board members serve as editors’ eyes and ears. Granted, we as trade magazine editors talk regularly by phone with maintenance and engineering managers in institutional and commercial facilities nationwide. And when possible, we talk to readers in person at trade shows and conferences throughout the year.
But managers are busy, so phone conversations tend to be short. Also, many changes in the profession are subtle and take place within facilities, out of public sight. So having select readers in facilities helps us keep pace with these changes, and more importantly, it helps make this magazine more informative for readers and the profession as a whole. Board members help us by suggesting article ideas, alerting us out new technology applications, and pointing us to resources for articles.
Why this discussion of editorial advisory boards? Because with this issue, we’ve added several new members to our board who will give us their insights on trends, technology and other matters, both within their organizations and the profession in general.
Their role isn’t all that taxing. Board members note of changes taking place in their jobs and facilities and keep us posted, and they put up with our phone calls a few times a month. But it’s an essential role in improving the magazine.
Beyond that, though, agreeing to serve on our board means they’ve devoted time and energy to improving the profession, too. And that begs this question: What can you do to make the profession better? If getting involved in the magazine interests you, I’d be more than happy to talk with you.