You may have noticed a teaser ad in our April issue that promised a new face to our content coming Summer 2015. Consider this column your Teaser Extreme.
I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about the changes we have in store for you over the course of the next few months. Not the least of these is a new, award-winning editor-in-chief, with a name many of you will recognize immediately. But that is just one small part.
Throughout the past year, we have been listening to you, and actively soliciting your input about what you like and dislike … not just about our magazine, but about the way you receive all your most important business information.
While you are still going to have to wait another month to begin seeing the results of our discussions with you, what I can share with you right now is a peek behind the curtain, and a bit of background explanation as to why we are doing what we are doing.
As we set about picking your collective brain, some of you dared to tell us that we have been looking a bit old or tired recently. We don’t disagree.
At the same time, our competitors (it seems), having settled into their own specialties in an ever-more crowded market, are expecting us to resign ourselves to the niche of “your daddy’s rotorcraft publication.”
To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated.
This magazine has, in fact, been around nearly 50 years – far longer than any others. So we are certainly older, but hardly old by today’s career standards. Any of you ready to retire at 50? Didn’t think so. We aren’t either. So let’s put this in perspective.
Rotor & Wing was born in 1967, at precisely the time the commercial helicopter business was taking its own nascent baby steps. As with most toddlers, progress from that point and the milestones thereafter came at lightning speed for both the industry and the magazine.
Everybody in the rotorcraft business grew up reading Rotor & Wing, because frankly there was no other place to find the breadth or the sheer wealth of information we provided every month. If your professional career had anything to do with helicopters, you read this magazine, or risked being left behind.
As a result, Rotor & Wing quickly became the 800-pound gorilla in the rotorcraft information business. Advertising in the pages of Rotor & Wing was not just the best way, it was realistically the only way to efficiently reach the global market of core rotorcraft decision-makers, including every important job title, in every type of helicopter operation in every part of the world.
Fast forward to today and things sure look different, don’t they? While there seems to be a never-ending supply of helicopter magazines springing up, the rotorcraft information business today extends far beyond print. Most of us cannot even remember the information we used to pay thousands of dollars each year to receive in print form, that we now absentmindedly access for free on a daily basis from our cell phones while we are walking the dog. Anyone remember the World Aviation Directory?
Therein is the answer to why we are making the changes we are making. We took a long, hard look at ourselves, and held nothing internally sacred – no person, no topic, no format. The only thing that remained sacred was our commitment to identifying the true decision-makers within the market and delivering the most valuable information to them in the most effective manner – the information they need to have, or risk falling behind. That is what we will do moving ahead.
So in some respect, I guess, nothing is really changing at all.