Like everyone, Attraction Magazine has taken a hit with the pandemic. In mid-March, we were working on our April issue, which is always a popular one for local springtime events. As the days went by, one by one events began canceling, and before we knew it, our magazine had lost about 20 pages worth of content in the form of ads and articles.
The lack of events has been the area that has hit us the hardest. By the time the May issue was ready to go out, we were in the middle of a full lockdown, with many businesses closed. Not only were those businesses not advertising, but they were not open as a place for us to deliver our magazine for people to pick up and read. We knew we had to come up with some ways to get “The Good News” to people, even with places closed.
One way we did this was by partnering with Sprout in Easton, Simmons Center Market in Cambridge, and the YMCA in Caroline County. All of these places were doing forms of meal delivery services, and they offered to include a copy of the magazine with their delivered orders. Another thing that we did was to go completely digital. We’ve had a website for a long time, and for years we’ve been reluctant to put the entire magazine online because we wanted the print version to be people’s go-to for reading each issue. However, with fewer places open for people to pick up a copy and most people trying to stay home, we decided to make the magazine available in its entirety on our website and worked quickly to launch a digital flipbook. As an added value to our advertisers who have been sticking with us during this time, all of their ads also contain a link directly to their social media or website.
We’ve never been a publication that requires our advertisers to sign a contract. We find that making our clients feel locked in is a detriment, and it has certainly been helpful to them during this time to be able to make advertising decisions on a month-by-month basis. We couldn’t put out a magazine without our advertisers, so we are thankful for their support during this time and have tried to reciprocate by giving them a venue to share their stories of how things have been for them during the pandemic, as well. Without public events to write about, many of our articles in the past few months have come from local businesses directly or have been a more human-interest type of story.
Even though we have had a smaller page count than usual, I think Attraction has had a personal feel over the past few months, which has made it even more enjoyable to read. We are especially proud of the current July issue that is out now and its focus on our local heroes. Artist Betty Huang painted the cover, especially for this issue, and the articles inside reflect so much hometown patriotism. I’ve often said that each issue of Attraction Magazine is like a little time capsule, and despite all of the challenges, we are doing our best to continue to bring our readers “The Good News” and to do so in a way that reflects this unprecedented time in our lives.
Left to right: Ryan Jacobson, Graphic Designer, Harriett Slaughter, Proofreader, Allison Rogers, Owner/Publisher, Jennifer Latham, Editor