Lessons in Perspective

August 1, 2003

We care a lot about this magazine. Clearly, you do, too. In response to our July cover, we heard from more than 100 readers—and counting. Some loved the bold, brash statement. Others felt the image promoted smoking, put the industry in an unprofessional light, or implied that to achieve success, women must dress and act like men. We appreciate that these readers were willing to engage in a conversation with us about our choice of cover art. When readers express an opinion—good or bad—it’s a strong sign of a healthy magazine.

The July cover image, a stock photo, was selected from 50 other possible covers we considered. We thought the photo of a beautiful woman doing a playful send-up of the classic image of business success—a retro impression that suggests Greta Garbo impersonating Groucho Marx—would draw readers into our annual “Top 100 Companies” list and its accompanying story on the underpinnings of success. We wanted to pique your interest. In some cases, we piqued your ire.

The letters and calls we received reminded us of an exercise you’ll be familiar with if you’ve taken a course or read a book designed to help you take your life to the next level. Think Steven Covey and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In the exercise, you’re asked to view the sketch pictured here. The sketch may appear to you as the profile of a young woman, her face turned to the side. Or you might see the profile of an old woman, her face turned down. Both images are in the sketch; what you see depends on your perspective. The same is true of our July cover.

In magazine publishing, it’s imperative to try to cut through the information clutter that surrounds readers. If our cover doesn’t compel you to notice and read the magazine, the benefit of that month’s content won’t reach you. Not reaching readers is our worst nightmare. So we’re grateful to those readers who took the time to tell us that July’s cover really reached them—for better or worse. We hope you’ll all join in the conversation with us going forward, weighing in regularly on what you like and don’t about your magazine. Your input helps make REALTOR® Magazine the best it can be.

Pamela Geurds Kabati is the former publisher of REALTOR® Magazine and senior vice president of communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Stacey Moncrieff

Stacey is executive editor of publications for the National Association of REALTORS® and editor-in-chief of REALTOR® Magazine.

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