by Jamie Rich | May 11, 2020
Flamingo Goes Full-Swing into the Digital Era
Flamingo Editor in Chief Jamie Rich on reimagining how we tell stories in the time of coronavirus
Have you joined me for a swing on my back porch lately?
If so, then you’ve likely caught an installment of Flamingo’s virtual “Flocktail” series on Instagram Live. These half-hour mini concerts feature (mostly) musicians you’ve read about in the pages of the magazine from John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band (a fellow Seminole) to Sissy Shaw of Tallahassee (a talented artist bound for Nashville) and J.T. Brown of Tampa (a standout singer-songwriter with a new album).
I swing. They sing, and we all raise a toast to our phone screens as a sign of solidarity in this crazy new world in which we find ourselves.
These socially distant jam sessions are a weekly highlight and the latest iteration of the digital Flamingo experience, where we take what readers have come to know and love in our printed pages give it new life online. The good news is we’re producing more content than ever on flamingomag.com and more people than ever are enjoying it. Our “Fresh Squeezed” newsletters have become an anticipated escape for those looking to discover an in-depth feature that has nothing to do with coronavirus, a “Feel Good Florida” story of a local hero, or an insightful interview and recipes from a lauded chef. This buzz around our digital storytelling has been a lifeline in an otherwise turbulent time for so many of us.
Since coronavirus sent me and my team to our respective homes in early March, many aspects of how we create, print and distribute our editorial content have dramatically changed. We’ve faced some tough questions. With stay-at-home orders and social distancing, how do we report stories or produce a photo shoot? With many newsstands, airports and resorts around the state closed, how do we distribute the magazine? With all of our travel, tourism and retail advertisers reeling, how do we cover the costs? The answer? We had to change—fast.
The result is a digital-forward approach to fulfilling Flamingo’s mission: to unify the state and be THE destination for all great Florida stories. Our summer print edition won’t be hitting newsstands and mailboxes across the state this June, as it has for the past four years. It will, however, be hitting flamingomag.com, landing in readers’ inboxes and popping up all over social media feeds. We will still deliver the same high-quality journalism, photography and design you’ve come to expect from Flamingo, we’ll just be doing it digitally, and we’ll be doing it more often.
For those of you who have subscribed to Flamingo’s print edition over the years, I can’t thank you enough for believing in us. And now, more than ever, we need your support to remain the definitive voice of Floridians and to tell stories that matter and move us in this unpredictable world. I hope you will continue to “subscribe” and buy into the great content we publish on Flamingomag.com, which is open to all. You can sign up for our e-newsletters, check out our Flamingo shop, share and like our posts on social media or simply just spread the word.
This quarantined time at home with my family has given me space to think and reimagine how we work, and I’m genuinely excited about the opportunities springing up along this journey. I’m not saying there won’t be future print editions of Flamingo—one day I expect there will—but right now our situation is too uncertain to predict when. In the meantime, we are still here, even louder than ever.
I hope you’ll stay with us, and at least, join me on the back porch for a swing and a song.
Is there something you want to see covered? Let us know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.