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Eddie Profile: Overdrive



By FOLIO: Magazine Staff
10/30/2007

Overdrive, a
100,000-circulation Randall-Reilly publication targeting the trucking
industry, made its editorial mark this year at the Folio: Awards. The
magazine took home two Gold Ozzies, one for Full Issue and one for
Single Article. Ask Overdrive’s
editorial director Max Heine how they did it and he’ll tell you it’s
all in a day’s work. “It’s just the usual high quality we put in there,
what else can I say?” Dig deeper though, and you’ll see a lean,
do-it-yourself ethic that has clearly paid off.

Valuable Content
The
March 2007 issue that won the Full Issue Gold featured a cover story on
“Seven Habits of High Earners”, which broke out research findings of
immediate value to the magazine’s readership: an editorial specialty,
according to Heine, and one that matches business content with the
acumen of the magazine’s readers. “Most of our readers consider
themselves truckers more than anything else,” says Heine. “They may be
more into the driving and lifestyle aspects than bookkeeping or
analyzing the nuances of their operation, but they are looking for ways
to cut costs and increase revenues. We really try to help them be
better business people. They don’t generally have a business degree.”

Staff
writers handle most of the heavy lifting, but Heine freelances three or
four pieces a year. The magazine has about five FTEs and a budget that
Heine figures isn’t any higher than normal, despite the award-winning
content. “We do a lot with a limited staff. Some of us have spent a lot
of time getting photo experience. We do a lot of our own photos and
cover photos—we don’t spend much on freelance photography either,
virtually nothing. We’re pretty versatile here,” says Heine.

Also
editorially important in the magazine is its community-defining
content, something Heine plans to expand in an upcoming redesign. “We
will group together a couple of reader-related departments. One is a
‘man-on-the-street’ and another is the letters to the editor. And we’ve
added some reader solicitation items—an item we’re calling ‘Speak
Out’—and we’re moving that all to the front of the book and making it
more of a consolidated and prominent reader community section.”

Judges Comments:
“I was prepared to not like this magazine, but it won me over. Broad
range of coverage nicely presented. Most impressive was the
consistently practical and clearly helpful content—meaty.”

By FOLIO: Magazine Staff
10/30/2007







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