Your Call Is 15 Years Old! - June/July 20
It’s Your Call Magazine’s 15th Birthday!
Your Call Magazine celebrates our 15th birthday on 1st July 2020!
My children were just 2 years and 5 years old when I left my corporate career as a Bank Manager and decided that I wanted to work for myself, launch a community magazine, and be there for my children. There were no similar magazines in the local area at the time, so I pursued my dream and after much hard work, the first magazine was launched on 1st July 2005 and delivered to just 2,000 homes initially in the Coventry West area, with a view to bringing back a sense of community to the local area.
It was amazing how quickly both advertisers and readers embraced the concept, which enabled the business to grow quickly and distribute to more and more areas. For a long time, I pretty much did everything myself; sold the advertising space, designed the adverts, wrote the editorial, sourced the local content, found regular contributors, and designed the whole magazine layout in a printable format. Once back from print, I then drove the boxes of magazines around to our distribution team for them to deliver the magazines through people’s doors. There were many late nights where I worked into the early hours to get things just right, long after the children had gone to bed.
Over time I have been able to take on help. By 2009, my husband Steve joined the rapidly growing company and over the years we have expanded the business together to now produce 11 community magazines each covering different areas, and reaching 110,000 homes in total in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull Villages areas.
In 2013 we took on our Community Editor, Donna Sayer, who does an amazing job of liaising with the local community and edits all the community content. Donna is also a fabulous proof-reader, and she manages our social media and our website updates. In 2013 we took the decision to outsource the design of the magazines, and Mat Peet of Digital Bear Design still works on our magazines and advert designs today, providing a much better design and layout than I ever could in the early days! In 2019 we took on our Sales Executive, Alex Carpenter, who looks after new customer sales. Our company also provides a leaflet and stationery design and printing service, and a leaflet distribution service, as well as an online directory, so all of this keeps us all very busy!
I am very proud and grateful for what Your Call Magazine has come to mean to both its advertisers, readers and the community. Many advertisers have been with us for many years, some from the very beginning. Most businesses do also use social media for advertising these days, but they can find that there is so much advertising on social media that their advert gets lost online. They tell us that repeated advertising in a local, trusted, quality magazine consistently brings new and repeat business and builds reputation as a respected local business.
It hasn’t been an easy journey over the last 15 years as there are always challenges to overcome with running a busy company. I have battled against Viral Meningitis twice, but with amazing support from family and friends, I managed to keep everything running smoothly and not let any customers or community groups down whilst I was ill. I have been totally overwhelmed to win an award in 2013 and 2014, for ‘Inspirational Business Owner’ at the National Magazine Publishers Awards. I also won the award for ‘Inspirational Sales Person’ at the 2015 National Magazine Publishers Awards, and I won the award for ‘Inspirational Woman’ at the 2017 Ladies First Professional Development Awards. It has also been an honour to be asked to be on the judging panel for the 2018 and 2020 Ladies First Professional Development Awards.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, there have been many challenges, as there has for all local businesses. Our April/May magazines arrived back from print just as lockdown was announced, and we had to stop the distribution of our magazines initially. It was the first time in 15 years that we had missed a distribution, but we managed to get the magazines delivered a few weeks later. Once delivered, we received many emails and phone calls from readers and advertisers that were so grateful that we had managed to get the magazines out there again, they had been missed by the local community. It’s become even more apparent that local businesses really do rely on us to help keep the local economy going.
I absolutely love my job and really have never looked back. I am passionate about keeping trade local and bringing communities together. I am a firm believer in living a life with gratitude in mind and my sincere thanks go to all our customers and readers for their support and loyalty over the last 15 years!
“Curtain Call have advertised with Your Call Magazine for over 12 years now. We monitor all our calls, and advertising in this fantastic quality local publication has really worked for us. We have seen a consistent dramatic increase in our turnover, and I would seriously recommend Your Call Magazine to any business that is looking to gain new local customers.”
Keith Walker, Curtain Call
“We have been using Your Call Magazine for several years now, it not only generates good local enquiries, but we have also found it useful when looking for other reliable tradespeople to complement our own services on site. Everyone at Your Call Magazine is very approachable and patient when designing new adverts and strategies, thank you!”
James Braid, MCS Landscaping Ltd
“I can’t thank the team at Your Call Magazine enough! They provide a brilliant service and are always on hand to help and advise us. Since we moved our advertising over to you, our level of enquiries has significantly increased. We must get 70% of our work through our advert in Your Call. Thank you!”
Craig Anstee, Heart of England Lofts
“Lynne and the team at Your Call have always provided an outstanding professional service. It truly is second to none. They have helped us to grow our business through their marketing campaigns and have always been there for advice and to answer any questions. Thanks for all your help over the years. Happy 15th birthday to Your Call Magazine!”
Gary Amos, Tree Wise Men
“We would like to wish Your Call magazine a Happy 15th Birthday and to express our thanks to Lynne and Steve at Your Call for being able to advertise with them. We have advertised with Your Call since we started our business in October 2018. Nothing is too much trouble and they are always extremely helpful. We advertise in 8 areas each month and have had many enquiries and sales as a result. We highly recommend Your Call Magazine to anyone wanting successful advertising.”
Ruth Parr, Dream Doors Nuneaton and Coventry
“Pure Oven Cleaning has advertised with Your Call Magazine for about 7 years now. Working with Your Call is fantastic and stress free, they are always very prompt with any questions you may have. We have gained many customers over the years from our adverts in the magazine, which has built our family business from one van into a multi-van company. Thank you to Your Call Magazine from the Pure Oven Cleaning team!”
Chris Wale, Pure Oven Cleaning Ltd
“We have been advertising with Your Call for about 10 years and it is an integral part of our marketing strategy. Lynne and Steve are a pleasure to deal with and nothing is ever too much trouble!”
Nicki Jackson, Blue Daisy Garden Design
“Happy anniversary to all at Your Call who have made an incredible magazine for 15 years. I’ve advertised for 8 years and during this time Lynne and her team have gone above and beyond to produce a well-loved magazine for our adverts to go in and to be delivered to your door every month without fail. Here's to another 15 years and more happy customers!”
Dave Millidge, Misty To Clear
“I just received my copy today and was very happy when it popped through the door. I do enjoy looking through it. There are some interesting articles in there. I do like the wordsearch, it’s the first page I head to! Well done for even getting the magazine put together and delivered under the current circumstances. Stay safe and kind regards.”
Jo O’Neill, Coventry
“I always enjoy reading Your Call and look forward to receiving it!”
Roger Jones, Bedworth