You probably have heard the saying, “Information is power.” In the 20th century, information and its distribution were controlled by centralized media platforms. Large information bureaus like the Associated Press and others were very powerful and had the ability to control what, when, and how information was going to be seen and heard. Likewise, the promotion of products and services were seen only through the same well-established media platforms. Their influence over our buying decisions and habits was unprecedented. If we were going to drink something, we had better drink Coke, because it was “The real thing.” For those of us with wild hair, Brylcreem told us that “A little dab will do you!” For those of us that love beef, we were asked by a funny, little old lady on behalf of Wendy’s, “Where’s the beef?”
Today, newspapers, radio and TV share the market with the Internet, which is a de-centralized media platform. The power has shifted to the people. We decide what we watch, read and purchase. If we want to buy something today, we can do a Google search and find out who sells it and what the best price is. Our best option may even be someone that lives half way around the world. We have become very demanding and selective consumers, and the options in the marketplace have multiplied considerably.
Social media is the newest online innovation. Individuals and groups can share their thoughts, opinions, and lives with others instantly and with no geographical boundaries. It has had a profound transformational effect on our behavior. Families sit at tables in restaurants, and, instead of holding a conversation, they are on their own smartphones either texting, reading emailing, playing games, or surfing the net. I’ve seen couples on dates sitting together, but, instead of interacting with each other, their heads are buried in their phones…together, but separate. Global news correspondents now interact with TV anchors via Skype or FaceTime, instead of having to deal with expensive satellite feeds.
The communication paradigm has now shifted even more dramatically in the last 10 years. As you may have already realized, today we live in a whole new environment…a world where 70 percent of newspaper readers are over the age of 65. Social media has been so heavily embraced by the younger population that only 10 percent of people between the ages of 30 and 55 even read newspapers. The terrible atrocities and events that are being seen in the news today are the same things that have been happening for decades. The difference is now we have the ability to capture them instantaneously through video with our smartphones and share that with people around the world in seconds. Our perception that the world has become a worse place is due to a dramatic increase in the frequency of events that we are exposed to. We can get any international news instantaneously on our smartphones.
The online platform made the market a tougher place for print media. Print media is slower and more costly to produce than online. In the five years leading up to 2012, the number of firms operating in this industry were expected to fall an average of 2.2 percent annually. Market consolidation, the closing of plants, and the downsizing of employee headcounts were the trend when Lifestyle Publications approached me to consider this venture. I can’t say that I wasn’t a bit skeptical. This is the outstanding environment in which I chose to launch Newport Beach Lifestyle magazine.
I’ve done many things in my life, but, in all of them, my ability to sell has come in handy. The sales approach made sense to me, and the approach to market was sound. I empathized with the small and medium sized-business owners, because I had been one for decades. I wanted to help them grow their businesses and to succeed. At the same time, I have a heart for giving back to the community. I also wanted to help the outreach of non-profit organizations.
Before I launched this magazine, I heard it all. “You’re doing what?” “You’re crazy!” “You’re kidding…right!?” “Do you know how many magazines there are down here in this area?!” “Good luck with that one!” “I wish you all the luck in the world…you’re going to need it!” “There is no way you are going to even get this thing launched!” I was not surprised to hear them, but I was not deterred. That is why I believe that in order to succeed, I needed to create a specialized magazine–one that was a community-inspired publication that always had at least 50 percent content featuring the community. It had to be a publication where the local businesses could generate interest in their products and services and the readers could embrace the stories of the people and the history that is Newport Beach.
As a result, we have created a beautiful, high quality, community-inspired, relevant publication, which is well-established and generates fantastic results for our advertisers. I am so excited about what this magazine has become and where it is headed! It is now two years old and has many more relevant and profitable years ahead as Newport Beach’s community magazine. Thank you so much for your ongoing support as a reader of this publication!
Happy Birthday, Newport Beach Lifestyle magazine…and many, many more!