South Walton Life, publisher of SoWal Life, announces a new edition to its family of community newspapers with the launch of a new edition in July. “Residents and business owners have been asking for it,” says Lori Leath Smith, Destin Life publisher, “and we will now provide Destin its own edition particularly geared to promote and highlight all the positive and valuable activities, businesses and residents in the Destin community.”
Building on the popularity and success of SoWal Life in South Walton and a 2nd edition in Miramar Beach, Smith aims to offer Destin residents and businesses a lot more than the premier issue of Destin Life. She plans to foster a connection to and within the community. More than 12,000 copies of Destin Life will be produced each month and direct mailed to each household and business in Destin.
“The purpose of the paper is to let Destin residents know what’s going on in their community all year round,” Smith says. “Let’s face it, for the most part, Destin businesses and buying habits are under represented by established area news publications. I believe Destin is ready for a paper that represents its niche and allows the Destin voice to be heard.”
The paper will include information and articles on local news, events, non-profit organizations, sports and local businesses. In addition, each month the paper will feature profiles of people and businesses in the community with an interesting story to tell. Each printed edition will be mailed to every household in Destin, a potential market of 17,000 people. The website will offer additional marketing and advertising promotion with an online version of Destin Life available, blog posts of feature articles, as well as archived issues. In addition, local companies and businesses have the opportunity to receive an ad free by purchasing three for the inaugural issue.
Smith’s publishing career began in Birmingham, Ala., as a writer/editor for Southern Living Destinations and Southern Supermarketing (Time Inc.). Most recently, she was Director of Public Relations and Marketing in Seaside, Fla. She also was executive editor of The Seaside Times and penned a monthly column, feature articles, business and merchant profiles.
A graduate of Auburn University in Public Relations, Speech Communications, Journalism and Broadcasting, Smith now brings her experience in former roles as publisher, editor and art director for numerous projects such as newspapers, books, magazines and newsletters to the Destin community. Her career includes multi-media work in publishing, marketing, advertising, public relations, promotional sales support, events, writing, graphic design, and editorial and art direction in several industries, nationally and internationally. Areas of focus include travel, tourism & hospitality, civic, economic development, industry-trade related, business, A&D, church, medical, F&B, sports, real estate and lifestyle.
Through work at Florida’s Great Northwest, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and as a contributor to local and regional media outlets since moving to the area 11 years ago, Smith has gained insightful understanding of the distinct and varied personalities of Emerald Coast communities. “As a vacationer to Destin for three decades, then living and working here, I’ve been able to observe, forge relationships with and listen to the needs of locals. I’m looking forward, through Destin Life, to relaying the accomplishments and amazing stories of those in Destin, bringing out the best of our truly unique community,” Smith says.
“My passion is to promote businesses and as a result, witness their success. But, I’m acutely aware of the challenges small businesses face in reaching key audiences with a limited advertising budget,” Smith says. “Destin Life offers the platform and opportunity to effectively promote in an affordable way, combining the best of both worlds for advertisers; it’s direct mailed to every Destin household—a potential of 17,000 people—with very affordable rates.”
Destin Life also invites schools and non-profit organizations to submit monthly articles and event listings. Local businesses are encouraged to offer tips from their experiences and through expert columns, advice articles and recipes. Students, parents and others can “find their voice” through this new monthly newspaper.
“We are community focused and community based,” Smith says, “and will reach your friends and customers. I invite you to join me in this local connection.” Readers can submit announcements, articles, events and story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 850-660-1444.
Three community newspaper editions serve South Walton, Miramar Beach and now Destin. Unlike other area newspapers and magazines, SoWal Life and Destin Life deliver customers’ advertising message by U.S. Postal Service every month to:
- 12,000 homes and businesses in Destin (32541)
- 12,000 homes and businesses in Santa Rosa Beach, 30A and Inlet Beach (32459 and 32461)
- 8,000 homes and businesses in Miramar Beach, Seascape and Sandestin (32550)