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The Habits of an Effective Magazine

My personal records show that one of the best read PM articles in print and online to this day was published in 2009 on the subject of disaster planning, written by Christine Becker for ICMA Strategic Partner IBTS. Eight years later, it’s time to refresh the topic with a new article on this important type of planning. IBTS authors Karen Johnson and Avery Share have provided copy that can help managers run a checkup on their disaster plans.

A subject that hasn’t been featured in the magazine for some time is special districts (SDs). Mary Eleanor Wickersham and R.P. “Sherman” Yehl write that SDs are the most common form of government in the United States as well as being the fastest growing segment. Find out why they believe that the time has come for more accountability in SDs.

PM’s habit of publishing concise, how-to articles is reinforced in April with 13 department articles. These include ethics, which is priority copy in all issues! Also, Danny Talley writes about Brighton, Colorado, going the self-funded route with its employee benefits coverage. Manager-in-transition Dan Singer describes four steps that he believes contribute to an organization’s success. Getting residents to work with and not against their local governments and improving public engagement are what authors Ashley Trim and Rod Gould explain in their Management Minute piece.

The magazine’s Public Safety Siren department has become known for its articles on police, fire, and rescue services. This time, Jack Brown writes on preparing younger employees as emergency management leaders. And the topic of succession planning remains on the list of what ICMA members want to read about, so Michael Timms’ step-by-step guide on succession planning should spark your interest.

On Point contributors Gaylene Rhoden and Patrick Kennedy didn’t shrink from answering the question, “Have You Experienced a Situation When You Had to Overcome Adversity/Hardship or Beat the Odds in Your Management Career?”

An effective magazine is one that includes members and authors in various positions. Administrators Michael Williams and Mark Cunningham contributed commentaries on leadership lessons and the spirit of excellence. Deputy Village Manager Jennifer Maltas shared how five communities—make that seven by the time her article is published—banned together to form a successful technology consortium.

PM’s effectiveness includes three online-only articles: Karin Hurt and David Dye describe ways to explain bad news; Mona Patal tells us what we can do if we fall into a familiar routine that might not be beneficial; and Magi Graziano iadvises how to master the skills of leadership intelligence.

Sometimes being effective can take the form of being unexpected—say, for example, being a poem rather than an article in the magazine. In April, ICMA member Alex Briseno shares a poem he wrote years ago, one he continues to share with students and young professionals even today, titled “So You’re the City Manager.”

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