Have you ever thought about publishing a regular mobile home park magazine? A community magazine is a fantastic way to keep in touch with your community. Everyone can stay in the loop and have access to other helpful information.
A community-wide magazine is something you can self-publish and do as often or as little as you like. You just need to aim for consistency in whatever you choose to do.
Get others involved …
And what’s more, you can encourage community involvement by pulling together a group of park residents to oversee the magazine’s publication.
The publication is not only a great way to communicate with residents and get them excited about the park, it can also serve a purpose in marketing your park. Depending on the value of your magazine, residents may feel compelled to share it with others outside the community. That gives your park more exposure and you never know who is on the lookout for a vacant lot!
Setting up your own mobile home park magazine
So the first thing you need to do is cast the vision for your mobile home park magazine. Is it monthly? Quarterly? What kind of publication is it? What type of articles will you cover? Will you have recurring sections?
Determine your audience
Who is your audience? Well, the mobile home park magazine is obviously for your residents!
This is important to keep in mind so you stay on target with the rest of your planning. You’re looking to publish articles and content relevant to this audience.
Additionally, knowing your audience will confirm who you need to talk to for advertising.
You can sell advertising space to businesses who surround your community. Advertisements will help offset the costs of publishing this community-wide magazine. And who knows? One of your residents may have a business and wish to advertise in your magazine.
Share your ideas and invite others to do the same
In the grand scheme of things, remember this magazine isn’t about what you like. Talk to people. Set up a drop box or online form where residents may easily share any ideas they may have for the magazine they’ll be reading.
It’s smart to know what your audience is interested in.
Length and content
For the length of your publication, think about keeping it between eight to twenty pages long.
As far as content goes, you’ll have your main news section of the magazine. And then you can have several sections based on the feedback you received from residents. In the magazine, you may also include upcoming community events or important announcements from management.
And don’t forget to think outside your community when it comes to things that are very relevant to their lives. For example, you can get in touch with your local library and ask about upcoming events. You can publish these events in your mobile home park magazine. Local family events are great too, especially if your park is geared towards families.
Think about having recurring sections in your magazines such as a parent’s advice column or the like.
Name that magazine
Now that you’re getting somewhere with your ideas, it’s time to come up with a great name! If you’re stumped on names, why not involve the community in pitching name ideas? You could offer a prize for the name you choose.
Find a graphic designer
Here we go — things are starting to come together! See about finding a graphic designer to do your magazine layout and cover. Oftentimes college students who are studying graphic design are looking for a project. Talk to a professor at the local college and see if any students might be interested in volunteering a real-world opportunity for their portfolio. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.
Alternatively, you could also see if a local graphic designer wants to trade their skill for free advertising. If you’re unsure about that, talk about pricing with local graphic designers.
There are sites like Fiverr where you can get a bargain for graphic design labor. Just remember, you often get what you pay for. Ask to see a graphic designer’s portfolio before you commit to anything.
Once you have a mockup of the mobile home park magazine, it’s time to pull together an editorial calendar and information for advertising rates.
Now you can hit local businesses who are interested in sponsoring or buying advertising space.
This is money you can use for production costs.
Find writers and get the first magazine out
Well, you have things going in a good direction. It’s time to get written content. You have probably had a few residents express interest in writing. Share the mockup with them and provide deadlines for their work. Until your magazine is in a place to pay for articles, allow something like a three line bio at the end of each article for writers.
Once you edit the article and have it plugged into the layout, with images and advertisements, it’s time to hit the printers.
Start with a hundred copies and see how it goes. You can always increase your order quantity in the next run, if necessary.
An exciting adventure
There you have it. A general guide to setting up your own mobile home park magazine. We wish you the best. A mobile home park magazine is an excellent way to cultivate community in your park.