by Jamie Rich | May 11, 2018

Editor’s Note: A Spring In Our Step

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Jamie Rich, Editor in Chief & Publisher; Photography by Ingrid Damiani; styling by Alix Robinson

Two years ago, Flamingo’s first issue launched with an ambitious theme, “Iconic Florida,” which captured the spirit of the magazine we wanted to create. Before Flamingo, the only iconic thing Florida lacked was a publication as grand as the state, with an authentic voice and a vision of bringing Floridians together.

Since volume No. 1, we’ve grown tremendously. I think it’s fitting to share our success with readers because it’s all due to you and your passion for Flamingo—for Floridians, by Floridians.

We know, for instance, that Floridians like what they read in our pages. Flamingo sells well—and many times sells out—on newsstands alongside national titles. While readers are buying the magazine in shops across the state, flamingomag.com buzzes with traffic from all over the nation. Flamingo’s social media growth is steady, all-natural and organic. (No paid-for bot followers in our feeds!) Advertising sales have grown 220 percent since that first issue, which we promoted with one bi-fold marketing piece (albeit a really fabulous one). Now we have an all-star sales team blowing up our ad pages and our website.

One of the most important measures of Flamingo’s success is our subscriber base, which has quadrupled in two years. Every day the phone rings with an excited voice on the other line, explaining how they discovered the magazine from a friend, heard about us on NPR or picked up Flamingo on the newsstand in the Fort Lauderdale airport, a Barnes & Noble in Tampa or Midtown Reader in Tallahassee. People buy back issues—all of them—and collect them like books. No doubt, the momentum is exciting and rewarding.

From day one, Flamingo has been more than a print magazine. We want you to consume our content however you like, on a screen or in the flesh. But one thing has proved true: Despite the boom in digital media, readers and advertisers both want that irreplaceable print experience. People still want to touch our pages, peruse beautiful images and page layouts, and most of all, get lost in great stories about our state.

Storytelling is what drives us. And we’ve had some amazing editorial wins. Flamingo premiered with an exclusive interview with Jeanette Rubio, wife of Senator Marco Rubio, then a candidate for president. It was Jeanette Rubio’s first time sitting down one-on-one with any media outlet. Flamingo was also among a small group of national magazines, including Rolling Stone, given an exclusive preview of Gregg Allman’s final album and access to his closest family and friends. Then there was Lilly Pulitzer! Floridians went crazy over our story on the Key West artists behind Pulitzer’s vintage prints, so much so that we only have 20 copies of that edition left. If you want one, it’s going to cost almost as much as one of her dresses! Most recently, we covered legendary Florida angler Flip Pallot whose wife, Diane, called the office to compliment the article. I have to say, that call made my month. The Pallots also passed along a story idea, which came to life in this issue. Can you guess which one?

Volume No. 9 is dedicated once again to “Iconic Florida,” which means so many things to so many people. In the process of bringing you these stories, we indulged in piled-high seafood platters in Florida’s Big Bend, revisited the site of a deadly plane crash in the Everglades, house-hopped through old Stiltsville, sipped rum runners in the Keys and retraced the footsteps of a black bear through 1,000 miles of Florida wilderness. We’ve had a blast. It’s time for you to do the same!