Publishing a local magazine is a lot of work, like many small businesses, but there’s also very little separation between “work” and “life” for publishers. Unlike my time in the more corporate (stodgy) world, when life happens to publishers it happens to their businesses too.
To be clear, local magazine companies run from the lone-publisher to teams of up to and around a dozen but most are in the 3-5 range employee range. Over the last few months I’ve spoken with publishers who’ve had their businesses seriously impacted by maternity leave, employee illness, medical conditions with the extended family members of employees, the passing of a freelance writer or prominent member of the community, and… even prom. Their kids prom that is.
I’ve had the good fortune of visiting about half the States in the US and always enjoy traveling but talking with friendly hometown-proud publishers is like taking a walk down Main Street with a knowledgable local. Just today I spoke with Barbara, the publisher of Yadkin Valley Magazine (they are not yet a Locable Affiliate), and I could hear her enthusiasm when sharing how old tobacco farms are being converted into vineyards and in some cases being used to grow hops for local micro brews. Everyday I get to visit communities that make our country great and hear their stories, it’s truly a joy.
As publishers, be sure to remember that you are a great representative for your community and within your community. You know people, places, and happenings and the sort of introductions and match-making that affords is an important ‘service’ to provide your readers and local businesses.