What do you do when challenged? We’re all finding out.

Many in the drilling industry have pressed on through the Covid-19 pandemic. Often, drilling activities — particularly in water and energy — fall into the “essential” category. Folks working those jobs have continued, albeit with new risk mitigation measures. Others dispatching those crews or invoicing for their time may have had to figure out how to work remotely. The pandemic challenges everyone differently, but everyone gets challenged.

Which brings me to National Driller. We have served readers for nearly 40 years. We plan to continue offering everything they value: information about new products and methods, interviews with industry leaders, news about the companies they rely on. But, we face challenges just like everyone else. Let me tell readers (and advertisers) what we plan to do.


First, the Big News

Starting next month, all our readers will receive a digital edition of National Driller, rather than printed and mailed copy. I can’t sugarcoat this: It’s a big change. Honestly, it’ll take us some getting used to, too. But, it is all part of our commitment to reliably providing valuable news and information to advertisers through these uncertain times.

For years, we’ve helped people buy and sell bits and rigs, and find jobs turning bits with rigs. These valuable connections relied on National Driller delivering 68 pages, give or take, printed on a commercial press and sent through the USPS to your office or home. Think about it, though. If you wanted to reach people and connect them with the information and insight they need to make effective business decisions in today’s fast-paced world, this certainly isn’t the approach you’d take. It’s clunky, expensive and slows down all of the connections we strive to foster between our readers and advertisers. It’s a 1980 model for a 2020 magazine.

Now, the value National Driller creates won’t change if we have anything to do with it. But the way we deliver it it has to.


Now, the Good News

The good news for readers (and for us) is that we, at National Driller, already have the tools we need to serve readers and advertisers online. Our digital heart beats strong.

If you haven’t already, try our digital edition. We’ve published it for years, so many readers already know about it. Subscribe if you haven’t. It’s just like the magazine, but easily readable on a tablet, mobile or desktop. We’ll improve on what’s there, but it’s already a great product. As an added bonus, you’ll have one less thing to recycle.

Even before pandemic challenges, we published video. Ask Brock episodes have published weekly for more than a year. These short, quick-hit videos answer questions about topics from bit balling to recruiting. Find all of our Ask Brock videos, hosted by drilling trainer and National Driller writer Brock Yordy, at www.nationaldriller.com/askbrock. They’re a rich resource.

As Covid-19 sent many workers home, we also reinvented and relaunched our Drilling In-Site series. These longer, in-depth videos feature experts talking safety, training, risk mitigation and, of course, cool drilling projects. They run longer than typical web videos, but the time is worth it. Ever been to a groundwater convention and thought, “This class on the business of drilling is great. I’d love to grab a beer with the presenter and hear more”? That’s Drilling In-Site: informal, off-the-cuff and full of good ideas to try in your business. See those and other videos at www.nationaldriller.com/insite.

It doesn’t stop with video, either. We’re working on ideas to build on the value we provide (and deliver that value more quickly). Readers and advertisers who follow National Driller into this new phase — just as they’ve done since October 1980 — will be glad they did. 

What do you think? How is your business rising to the Covid-19 challenge? Do you have questions about our move away from print? Let us know. Send an email to verduscoj@bnpmedia.com.

Stay safe out there, drillers.