86 If I am honest, I was rather

surprised at first that we have been able consistently to find sufficient local content to fill 50+ editorial pages every issue. The reasons became self-evident, however, quite quickly. As one of the most desirable UK holiday destinations, there is always something going on; whether it’s a major festival, an event at The Flavel (Dartmouth is uniquely fortunate to have such a fantastic arts centre in such a small town), not just one but 2 popular local National Trust properties on our doorstep, an open garden somewhere in/ around South Devon, one of the most attractive rivers and popular yachting destinations in the UK and a spectacular local coastline, adjacent local scenery and even Dartmoor just a short drive away. That’s a rich seam that we’ve been able to mine not just for residents but for the many visitors that also pick up the magazine. Actually, when we started the magazine, we were a little hesitant that we should spend too much effort in telling local people about what existed around them – surely they knew it already? But we had launched the magazine just as we swapped our second home for a permanent base here and so looked at this through that perspective – we wanted to learn more about Dartmouth and what it had to offer but nothing at the time gave us the information we required. Our concerns were soon dispelled when we realised that there are a substantial number of local people that have yet e.g. to visit Coleton Fishacre or Greenway or walk the many great parts of the local coastal path etc to name, just a few activities. Part of our role as a community magazine is to remind or prompt readers what there is to do and what is happening in their local community and around them. This curation and sifting of content that is relevant and timely is not easily possible via social media or

going online. Dartmouth is also unusual in being able to boast such a rich history for so small a town. With the help of organisations such as the Dartmouth History Research Group, we have printed pages and pages of articles about our local history across the previous millennium - from the Crusades, the Mayflower pilgrims to Thomas Newcomen and Dartmouth’s important role in WW2. If new to the town, I urge readers to study our website for the many previously published articles or pick up a copy of the Official Dartmouth Visitor Guide for a short summary… not forgetting a visit to our local Dartmouth Museum. Ultimately, communities are interested in each other – our

I believe that quality magazines that speak directly to the needs and interests of their readers and advertisers will still survive long term.

personal stories, achievements etc. We recognised this early on and so we focused on finding people to interview. We’ve published more than 300 such interviews and are still counting – as well as the many Dartmothians that may have long ago settled here, there is an endless variety of new faces as people relocate or retire here or perhaps buy second homes. So many of these have interesting back stories as the interview of Marc Koska in this issue ably testifies. We are also lucky in that every so often there’s a new Dartmouth Mayor, Harbour Master or Captain of the BRNC etc to interview! But it isn’t possible to serve up this smorgasbord of interesting editorial free of charge to readers, without the support of advertisers, predominantly local businesses. Dartmouth is geographically isolated as well as economically dominated by the tourist industry. Many of the trades and services

that serve the town are based elsewhere. It also has a high concentration of holiday and second homes. Not just out of convenience but also desire, many residents, full or part time, want to spend their money locally. Many readers use By The Dart as the source of vital practical information of who does what. With a mature demographic, the reach of social media is limited and certainly cannot boast the 10,000 + sets of ‘eyeballs’ or ‘likes’ that pick up, read, digest and retain the information that we publish. The rise of social media (for

better or worse) has been dramatic since 2008 – Facebook had 100m users then – it now has more than 2.7 billion (47m in the UK). 70% of UK advertising revenue is spent online (mostly with FB or Google). The amount of print advertising has more than halved in that time and circulations have plummeted – the Dartmouth Chronicle’s own circulation has halved in the last 5 years and was only approx. 1,200 copies pre-pandemic. By The Dart’s resilience in the face of this extraordinary shift in the way we consume media and promote businesses and products is testament to the value of the magazine’s strong reader loyalty, local relevance, ubiquity, trust and competitiveness. Yes, local businesses can reach a local market with targeted promotions online or on social media , often at low cost, but can they do it consistently, can they stand out enough to be seen and can they reach 5,000+ local households as the magazine can every other month – very few can… We have been lucky that many

advertisers such as BBH Architects, Dartmouth Self Storage, Wollens, Distinctly Living, Dart Plumbing, FRL, Baxters, Dart Gallery, Mark Lobb, Michael Suttons, Freeborns, The Coastal House, Dartmouth Marine, Marchand Petit, Jeremy Wright Joinery, Savills, Howdens, Gardentime, McCombe Decking,

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