While we don’t do it often enough, our staff recently took some time to look at PCT magazine and our website, www.pctonline.com, to see how we can make both better. In that spirit of reflection, I thought the New Year might be a good time for a review of some hows and whys of PCT. What follows are questions we sometimes get; I hope they provide insights into what makes PCT tick (good or bad pun?).
Why is April the Annual Ant Control Issue? Years ago, “Annual (Insert Pest Name Here) Control Issues” were established based on the seasonality of pest control. February, for example, was designated the Annual Termite Control Issue because in much of the country, termites begin to swarm in early spring. We want readers to be prepared, so we cover termites in the year’s second issue. Similarly, rodents and stinging insects typically are most active in late summer/early fall so August was chosen as the issue to focus on those pests. But pests don’t pay attention to the calendar. In fact, termite swarming is down and rodents are now year-round pests most everywhere. However, we will continue these special issues because doing so helps us stay focused and ensures we cover each pest each year appropriately.
Why don’t I receive PCT in the beginning of the month? PCT’s parent company publishes about 20 magazines and they all can’t go through the production cycle at the same time. Some are scheduled early in the month, others in the middle and some at the end. PCT is in the middle. It’s simply a matter of company resources being spread throughout the month.
How do you decide which pest control companies to profile? File this one under “it takes a village.” While our editorial staff is small (Publisher Dan Moreland, Internet Editor Brad Harbison and me), we have many people working on behalf of PCT. We have a stable of writers who are well versed in the industry making calls daily for articles and special projects. They pick up tidbits from interviews and share them with us. Our sales staff talks to suppliers every day, who also share story ideas. We talk to readers at industry events and jot down notes that we then come back to discuss with one another. PMPs also contact us directly. If you have an innovative program, a stellar employee or a fun fact about your business, drop us a line.
Can I earn CEU credits from the webinars PCT hosts? It depends on the webinar and the state(s) you operate in. Obviously, no CEU credits will be given for webinar topics that are more business related. For webinars that are pest- and pest control-specific, PCT will apply for CEU credits. Some states will approve the webinars for CEUs; others will not. For example, we applied for CEU credit approval of the November PCT Rodent Control virtual event. A total of 16 states approved the virtual event for CEU credits, ranging from 3 to 9 credits.
How do you determine how many business- vs. pest-related articles to run? We try to strike a balance each month between the two. Some issues will feature more business articles and some will feature more pest-related articles, but there will be some of each in every issue. I’ve never counted, but I’m confident at year end, there is close to an even split between the two categories.
What’s up with “online extras”? We have a limited amount of space in print. So one of the great things about the website is that we can include expanded content there. The web also allows us to feature multimedia that obviously doesn’t work in print (think videos, podcasts and downloadable documents). Additionally, some authors write longer than we have space for so we can run related articles, references or timelines that don’t make the issue. We highlight these “extras” in a couple of ways. First, we do so with this icon on the table of contents. Second, in the article, we’ll include a note to check out the additional content in the text or a box at the end of an article. Find these “online extras” on the bottom left of the main www.pctonline.com page.
The author is editor of PCT magazine.