For this month's Business Blog, I'll be connecting our yoga community with The Local Scoop Magazine.
The Local Scoop is a regional publication that connects locals and visitors to the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and now Williamsburg with its beautiful coverage of all things local. The magazine's brainchild is Publisher, Susan McFadden, whom I first met in 2005 when I was Director of Development for the Northern Neck Family YMCA. Susan's a big Y supporter and often provides marketing services free of charge to several Y's in the area. I've been a huge fan of hers for years and I eagerly anticipate the magazine's arrival each quarter, which I read cover to cover. Here's my interview with Susan:
Tell me about The Local Scoop.
We first launched TheLocalAccent.com, an online magazine and business directory, in 2008. Then the economy hit bottom with the Great Recession and everything stagnated. In 2011, we identified an opportunity to roll out a print lifestyle magazine that covered the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. We used the first issue to test the level of interest among advertisers and readers. The response was very positive, and we decided to print four issues in 2012. Over the next few years, we’ve adapted our frequency to the changing and seasonal nature of our local economy. In 2016, we’ll print two larger issues — late spring/summer and fall/holiday. We feel this frequency will best serve our advertisers and reflects the period when we see the highest level of visitors to the region.
We just sent files to the printer for the first The Local Scoop of Greater Williamsburg issue. The magazine is slated to distribute the week of November 9. Four issues will be printed in 2016.
How long has the business been there and when did you first become a part of it?
Please see above.
What ignited your passion for this particular line of work?
I’m a graphic designer by training and education, and have owned a boutique advertising and marketing communications agency in the Northern Neck since 1991. Storytelling is a big part of what I do. Telling stories through The Local Scoop provides an opportunity to raise awareness of this special place we call home and to help drive business to build a stronger local economy.
How many employees do you have?
Six including me: Sales Rep and Production Manager Morgan Sanders, Art Director Margaret Cruggs, Designer Richard Kidd, Williamsburg Sales Rep Lisa Shivers and Williamsburg Editor Stephanie Heinatz. We also use local and regional writers and photographers on an as needed basis.
What do you like most about your work?
There are two areas that make this venture very gratifying: collaborating with my smart, talented and hard-working colleagues and meeting new people who share their stories with us or choose to advertise with The Local Scoop.
Building relationships with the people we write about and the advertisers we serve is fundamental to our success. At every level, it is a trust exercise. People trust us to tell their story accurately. Our advertisers know we work diligently to promote their businesses through the print publication, website and mobile-friendly site, and social media.
Excluding yours, what local business/organization do you admire most and why?
It would have to be Chesapeake Bank. They have been an agency client since 2004. In addition to that working relationship, they have also supported me at each level with growing The Local Scoop magazine. I admire their high level of integrity and commitment to the community.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to start a business?
Create a business plan to define your goals and project your estimated income and expenses. Ask yourself, “Is this a viable concept?” Then, ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen if I launch this business?” If you can handle that possible scenario both emotionally and financially and still want to launch a business, then GO!
What do you do in your non-work time?
I don’t have much free time. What time I do have is usually spent at home with my husband, my daughter and her family. I enjoy cooking for friends and family and watching a good movie, and traveling when we can get away.
How do you manage stress?
Not too well, actually. I’m working on that. Yoga seems to help. I try to sleep eight hours a night and walk whenever possible. Being outside, working in my garden is a good stress-releaser.
Please give your website address and contact details.
Visit our website at www.LocalScoopMagazine.com. We’re also active on Facebook and Twitter. I can be reached at email@example.com. We’re always looking for story ideas, so please email me if you have something you’d like to share.