Orienteering World 2017 released!

The Orienteering World 2017 magazine released!

In the new issue You will find many interesting orienteering articles:

‒         Use the Evacuation Plan for Orienteering!

‒         Thierry Gueorgiou’s Final Triumph

‒         IOF Athlete of the Year: Tove Alexandersson

‒         TrailO: World Championship Medals for Farther and Son

‒         Emily Benham Kvåle: A Very Special Year

‒         Pinja Mäkinen: Mother of Three and World Championships Medallist

‒         From Facebook to Orienteering

Would You like to get a printed magazine version? Order here!

The on-line version could be read here.

The Mitteillungsblatt, the IOF Report, the IOF Bulletin – the IOF’s publications had many forms over the years. But in 1989 the Orienteering World was born, surpassed all his predecessors and still remains the main IOF printed magazine.

We asked Clive Allen, the Editor of Orienteering World 1993-1998, to share his memories and experience when a spread of the Internet was low, we had no Facebook and Instagram and printed media was the most common way to share the orienteering news.

The start

I had contributed articles to the O-magazines for many years and had a broad interest in the orienteering world-wide. In the late 80s/early 90s I was Chair of IOF’s Development and Promotion Committee (DPC), which included in its remit the IOF’s publications policy. In 1992 the Council initiated a review which DPC contributed to, and towards the end of that year my predecessor, Peter Gehrmann, decided to retire.

I made it known that I was interested in taking over, and in late 1992 Council decided that I should be appointed on a contract to produce 6 issues per year. An annual Agreement was set down and signed by me and the Secretary General. The norm was 24 sides A4 with full colour cover, “financed by subscriptions, sales and advertising which CA is responsible for obtaining.” The bookkeeping was done and the subscription database maintained in the IOF office, which also supplied address labels for each issue.

It was a part-time job, initially alongside map-making and other things I was doing here in Denmark, and latterly whilst I was running the youth hostel in south-west England. Putting together some of the summer issues whilst having many youth hostel guests too was a bit stressful – but no deadlines were missed!

For my first issues especially, the Secretariat helped me a lot with contributor contact ideas and information, and I kept an eye on national magazine content and other happenings. To start with, the IOF had a set number of pages per issue which the Secretary General Lennart Levin compiled, but after a few issues this rather inflexible arrangement was changed. I asked all contributors to provide photos wherever possible. Everything was sent by post. I was very rarely let down by anyone I asked for a contribution.

The process

I learnt a basic Desktop Publishing package (Pagemaker) – a very steep learning curve! – and did the basic design work and set up all the layout myself. I sent the final result on a floppy disc to the printer together with all the photos on paper or card as originally supplied to me – they were scanned and inserted by the printer – and all the advertisements received, either on paper or electronically (a bit of both). The printers, Simpson Drewett and Company Ltd in Richmond near London who also printed the British magazine CompassSport, were used to large-volume magazine printing but were very helpful with what was by some way their smallest print run! During 1998 the printing was moved to Finland.

1200 copies were printed per issue, and they were all distributed by post, singly to subscribers and in batches to the IOF and national federations. The bagging, labelling and posting was done by the printers. I’ve lost track of how many individual subscribers there were – it was several hundred, and we tried to boost sales by having agents in as many countries as possible who could take subscriptions in local currency. We also offered a 25% discount to federations that ordered 10 or more copies.

As Orienteering World Editor I became very well versed in the success or otherwise of Fulham football club! The Orienteering World account at the printers was handled by their longest-serving account executive, a gentleman close to retirement whose main love in life by far was watching Fulham. So on every occasion of contact, discussion about some aspect of OW was always prefaced, and followed, by an analysis of Fulham’s current form.

The budget

We set up an annual budget which on the income side included subscriptions, other sales, IOF advertising and other advertising, and on the expenditure side it included an editor’s fee and a small amount for travel plus all the production costs. The IOF advertising amounted to about 30% of the total income. The editor’s fee was set at £1000 per issue. In 1996 the total turnover was over 200,000 Swedish Kronas. Any surplus or deficit was transferred over into the subsequent year.

The IOF negotiated the biggest adverts – from sponsors such as Suunto and Finnair – and some of the income came into the magazine budget. It seemed to me that there was some scope in trying to get adverts for open international events too, and so it proved, especially for the pre-Christmas and the first and second issues each year. Rates at the beginning of 1998 ranged from £600 for a full colour page to £110 for half-page black and white and £40 for one-eighth page in black/white.

The future

I think the Orienteering World has a place in the IOFs overall publication portfolio as the essentially PR magazine that it now is. It serves to tell the world outside and inside Orienteering what the IOF is doing or supporting, and in doing so it provides material about personalities, competitions, world-wide developments, all 4 disciplines etc. for media folk, the IOC and the IWGA, the potential sponsors and the O-world in general. The fact that it can be obtained as a printed product, as well as being available for download online, is a big plus in reaching as many people in as many different situations as possible. To me it is essential that the IOF is able on a regular basis to showcase its activities through a quality paper product as well as in digital form, as well as through online newsletters. I think the two forms of output complement each other quite nicely.

Having written that, I believe the potential readership is, and always will be, limited. I would not recommend going back to an OW of the type I produced, and the decision to change in 1999 was, in my view, a correct one.

Text by Clive Allen – a contributor of many recent articles to the Orienteering World, the IOF webpage and a great friend of orienteering.