There’s a rhythm in most businesses. The ups and downs of the business cycle paint the big picture. In between, there’s the annual schedule that keeps us all hopping.
2014 is barely half over, but the planning for 2015 is well underway.
Even in the news business, where unexpected events and announcements demand our attention every day, there’s already a lot on my calendar to do — to attend — and to plan for — in 2015.
Reporters and editors tend to think of summer as a slow time. There’s less travel, that’s true. Event organizers tend to schedule their conferences and trade shows for warm, sunny locales during the late winter and early spring, both as an incentive to attend and to avoid summer and holiday vacation seasons.
So as I talk to our reporters and correspondents these days, there’s an attitude that now — at last — they plan to take time to tackle some story ideas that have been on the back burner, or hiding in their notebooks, waiting to be written.
I smile and listen to their plans. But I know better.
It’s the nature of a weekly, or daily, news reporter to move from project to project. Always meeting deadlines. Frequently being sidetracked with something urgent, then shifting attention back to the most pressing projects.
So there’s rarely a time that’s truly slow. I recall a few years ago, I was contacted by a PR person who wanted to tell her clients that late December was a good time to suggest feature story ideas to news reporters, with the premise being that it was a slow time, and reporters were looking for something to do.
Only one problem: it’s not true. I can’t remember a week at the end of December when Plastics News didn’t have major stories breaking.
If anything, the lack of a slow time has gotten even more obvious in recent years. I imagine that’s something that we in the plastics news business have in common with you in the plastics manufacturing business.
Not that I’m complaining. It’s just a fact of modern life.
Do you still think of summer as a time to catch up on paperwork, lay the groundwork for your next big project, and start planning for next year? But is the reality that it’s more like trying to squeeze in all the necessary work while dealing with vacation schedules and everyday emergencies?
Enjoy the season while it’s here. It may not be summer doldrums. But in a few weeks, when fall begins, things will really get busy.
Loepp is editor of Plastics News and author of “The Plastics Blog.”