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Publisher's Letter

Success With Just 60,000 Reasons

“Excuse the horn blowing, but it is a fact that Gulfstream Media Group, with its six titles, most of which have been published for decades, has a wingspan unmatched by any other media we know.”

Long before there was a Top Docs feature, there was Gerry Allen. We are going back to the mid-1970s when Gerry Allen, who sold cars, enjoyed what is probably the greatest advertising success story this magazine ever had. Allen did not sell just any car. He sold his own creation, out of a showroom on Sunrise Boulevard. The car was called The Excalibur. It was based on the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SS styling, with a large radiator grill and rounded fenders, reminding one of the classics from the golden age of automobiles.

But Gerry’s creation was a lot more than an old-fashioned looking, limited edition convertible. It was built on a Chevrolet Corvette chassis, so it had intrinsic value and performance. Gerry bought splashy, full-page ads, featuring himself in the company of an Excalibur. He was a good looking, sporty fellow and he matched the vehicle. The ads ran for a few years before we found out why. Gerry confided that in one year he sold 26 cars at $25,000 (serious money at the time) and he said fully half the sales came directly from the magazine. We were his primary marketing venue.

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We think of Gerry Allen this month because we just learned of a current success story that may rival that one from the 1970s. Lora Beri, guest relations director for OK Corral Gun Club in Okeechobee, wrote to Donna Lewis, publisher of our Jupiter Magazine and The Palm Beacher, that we were responsible for selling out its high-end cabins during the last several months. 

We use magazines in the plural in this instance since she advertised in all six of our books and the business came from all over South Florida—from the four counties we cover. That’s quite a difference from the 1970s. When Gerry Allen advertised his novel automobile, we had just one magazine, Gold Coast, with about 15,000 distribution, almost all in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Today, the combination buy is more than 60,000 copies, covering Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin counties. There’s also a fair amount of out-of-state distribution, which tends to have a disproportionate impact, especially for real estate and vacation-related advertisers. 

Frankly, we think many of our advertisers miss the boat by not taking advantage of this extraordinary regional buy. There is a tendency to think that customers will only be attracted to businesses near them. The history of South Florida says otherwise. We learned that decades ago when we introduced a version of the magazine on the Treasure Coast. Real estate advertisers and banks with offices throughout the entire market wanted to reach as many people as possible, usually with good results, but we also found that restaurants, interior designers and medical specialists often got a response from distances they did not expect. 

We recall a few years ago meeting friends from Fort Lauderdale at the Jolly Sailor restaurant (now part of the Duffy’s chain) in downtown Stuart. We asked how they knew about the place, and they said through our Fort Lauderdale

Excuse the horn blowing, but it is a fact that Gulfstream Media Group, with its six titles, most of which have been published for decades, has a wingspan unmatched by any other media we know. No newspaper, TV or radio station can claim an audience stretching 100 miles in one of the most affluent markets in the country. In fact, we wonder if there is another magazine anywhere in the country that has such saturation over so broad a market. 

How about digital, you ask? Everybody’s on the internet. We have that too with numbers that far exceed any other magazines in our markets. Savvy advertisers increasingly are buying both print and digital products. Sometimes it is hard to tell which one works best. The important thing is that it works.