Division B - Printed Tools of Public Relations
Category 6 - Magazine - Four Color
In Good Company
Bonita Bay Group Marketing Department

Award of Distinction

Research/Situation Analysis: Bonita Bay Group, a developer of seven master-planned communities, conducted VALS research, an independent study that quantifies the psychographics and consumer behavior of buyers and target audiences. VALS research groups respondents into segments that aid marketers in targeting messages and determining the best mediums to reach audiences with their messages. BBG’s buyers are typically retired, or semi-retired, empty-nesters looking for a second home in Florida to spend the mild winter months. They research revealed they fell into two VALS groups: Thinkers and Innovators. These two segments are described as well informed, thought leaders that are brand-conscious, socially aware and ideal-oriented. The research informed us that they are skeptical of advertising and seek unbiased information. They reward environmental stewardship, enjoy being outdoors and prefer print over internet or broadcast media. Other research pertinent to this submission is that our internal tracking of sales shows that our current residents are one of the best sources of new leads into our sales centers.

Objectives: 1) Create a publication that promotes our communities, but is perceived as unbiased. 2) Cross sell our communities. 3) Create a vehicle that makes it easy for residents to refer a Bonita Bay Group community to their friends. 4) Generate 60 new leads from magazine inquires.

Implementation: BBG created In Good Company, a semi-annual magazine that celebrates the Southwest Florida lifestyle and subtlety extols the virtues of living in a BBG master-planned community. The content features topics of interest to residents: profiles on interesting people who live in our communities, gardening, the environment, recreational activities such as biking and golfing, beautiful homes, wining and dining, and philanthropic endeavors. Content was developed to match those identified as of interest to our primary VALS profile segments.
The articles feature activities that happen within all of our communities, but also include events outside the gates, to keep the magazine from being too parochial or coming off as biased. For example, the spa story interviewed the fitness director at one of our club’s but also included information on Red Door, a hot new spa that opened recently in Naples.
BBG hired CurtCo Media, the well-respected publisher of Gulfshore Life Magazine as its partner to create the magazine and sell advertising space. The premiere issue is 88 pages long (plus cover) with 56 pages of editorial and 32 pages of advertising. To encourage passing the magazine along to their friends, a business reply card was blown in. The circulation is 25,000 copies. It is mailed to all of our current residents (about 9,000 copies), sent to every sales center visitor, available in our community offices and clubhouses, distributed to 400 area realty offices, high-end grocery stores, and more. Copies can also be requested through our web site.
To debut the magazine, a letter was sent to all of our community residents about a week prior to the magazine arriving in their mailbox, telling them to expect the publication. To build recognition and support, it was also unveiled in a series of events at each of our communities. Copies that were distributed to realty offices had a customized letter of introduction, as did the copies mailed to our business partners.

Evaluation: The debut issue of In Good Company arrived in mailboxes the first week of March, 2007 and has been a huge success. Requests for copies are pouring in, both from residents asking for copies to send to their friends and family, but also through our web site visitors. As of May 29, a total of 116 leads have been generated, both from resident referrals and web inquiries. Residents have been extremely complimentary, saying “so pleased to receive the first edition of In Good Company!” and “it was very interesting and well researched.” Another person said “Your In Good Company is a wonderful magazine…it extends the feeling of being in beautiful Southwest Florida.” By hiring a recognized name in regional publishing as our partner and by careful writing and editing of the articles, we were able to produce a publication that promotes our communities without overselling them. All of our communities are well represented in the magazine, which supports our cross-selling strategy and by making extra copies easily accessible through events, in our communities and on the Web, residents are able to easily pass it along to their friends. Because it represents their community and their lifestyle in a positive way, they are enthusiastic in doing so.
The tagline for In Good Company is “Celebrating life, friends and nature in Southwest Florida” and the premiere copy does all of that and more.

Budget: Sponsorship fee paid to custom publisher: $60,000. Includes all aspects of publication including seven complementary pages of advertising. Marketing staff hours: 80.