January 2012 Letter From the Publisher
Welcome to Natural Awakenings of Collier and Lee Counties’ 18th anniversary issue! What began as a local 32-page publication has blossomed into a mature, respected flagship for 85 franchise magazines, reaching 3.5 million readers across the country.
Through serving as the national headquarters training and support center for this growing family of publishers, our local team’s Southwest Florida edition has become bigger, better and stronger. We continually benefit from the creative ideas and business input of our network.
When our small team cranked out the first edition, we didn’t have access to the electronic communications we have today. Freelance writers and advertisers dropped off floppy disks, because email hadn’t arrived yet. Today, our office staff spans the country as we use editable e-files, Internet webinars, conference calls and our own intranet to share expertise system-wide.
Digital media has made the publishing business simpler in many ways, while more complicated in other ways. We’ve changed along the way with the times, with websites that have morphed to become increasingly more sophisticated. This past year, we took it to a whole new level working with a firm that develops websites exclusively for magazine publishing companies. Check it out at swfl. NaturalAwakeningsMag.com. Beginning this month, you can now access this great resource when you are on the go through our new NA app.
We are always looking for the best ways to serve our loyal readers and advertisers. Thus, this past year, e-commerce expert Greg Schiek joined the team to develop and manage the new Natural Awakenings online store, NAWebstore.com. Starting this month, you can shop for your healthy living and Earthfriendly needs with us. We’ve already qualified 4,000 products and are adding more daily.
Just last month, we announced a new Natural Awakenings Network (NAN), comprising local and nationwide natural health care providers and services offered at discounted rates. Once we get our local provider network built, we will have user cards available for purchase. We’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, we are revving up to start using our new NaturalAwakenings Coupons.com site that will enable shoppers to find, organize and print free coupons from stores and providers aligned with your natural living lifestyle. You’ll even be able to sign up for e-notices from your favorites.
As you can see, we’ve been busy. Over the past 18 years, we’ve been on an exciting journey together, empowering each other to live the best lives we can, while honoring our precious planet’s resources. Together, we are fostering a natural awakening… to what is possible.
Here’s to a transformative New Year,
Sharon and the whole Natural Awakenings team