The big year-end issue of my magazine is split between a directory of contract service providers (2nd half) and a series of profile pages of advertisers. Some of them by a profile/ad spread, others just buy a profile. My associate editor and I get the text and images in, lay them out, send low-res PDFs over to each client, and put in whatever revisions they request and send out more PDFs.
Since there are around 120 profile advertisers, you can imagine that there’s lot of project management involved. We also need a certain amount of perspective on which profiles are going to be smooth and which are going to “take some work.” Every morning, I open up a spreadsheet that contains the status of every “unapproved” company (their info gets moved to a worksheet called “Yay! Done!” when they’re approved). It reminds me which companies I need to harass and which ones I’ve yet to get started with because I know their profiles are going to be a major hassle.
When it’s a new advertiser, we have to engage in some handholding. When that new advertiser is overseas, this process can get a little more taxing. When the new overseas advertiser sends files from a program that you haven’t seen since 1998, it can make you throw your hands in the air. And when two of them send files from that same program. . .?
Today, I received e-mails from two separate accounts in India, and they both sent me files from Corel Draw. I looked at these attachments and their “.cdr” extensions and I thought, “Are they using Windows98? Did they send these e-mails over Prodigy? Are they just discovering Celine Dion and Titanic? Should I ask them to resend everything on a ZipDisk?”
It felt like the time I found my old collection of mix tapes up in the attic and realized that I don’t even own a machine that can play them.