First, a huge THANK YOU to all who were able to show up to the Q&A this week at CoCo Beach. Your participation, questions and support for our magazine is so important to us as a hyperlocal publication.
For those who were unable to make it, don’t worry – our livestream of the event is available on Instagram Reels and we’re giving you the rundown right here:
Though I’ve been editor of Plano Magazine in some capacity for about a year now, I haven’t had the opportunity to formally introduce myself to the community. So, if we haven’t met, hi! My name is Alyssa High and I am the editor of Plano Magazine. I came to the magazine after finishing my Master’s in Journalism at the University of North Texas and working at The Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Observer and getting bylines in several other publications. Fun fact: In grad school, I became so passionate about my thesis topic, Neurodiversity in Media, that I went on to start my PhD in strategic communication and psychology.
Now, in the last year, a lot of readers like you have asked about emails you may receive about Advocate Media or us being a nonprofit, and I wanted to have the opportunity to clarify how it all relates to each other.
As most of you know, Plano Magazine was started by Jennifer and Luke Shertzer in 2016. The duo quickly built the bimonthly publication that you all came to know and love, and when they were ready to move on to other things, they looked to their office neighbor and fellow magazine editor Jehadu Abshiro. Abshiro is the publisher an of Advocate Media, a hyperlocal news magazine publisher with 4 neighborhood magazines: Lake Highlands Advocate, Preston Hollow Advocate, Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate and Oak Cliff Advocate. Plano Magazine soon became the fifth publication in the Advocate brand. As the Advocate acquired Plano Magazine, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Publications all over the world shut down or slowed production and printing. During this time, Advocate and, by extension, Plano Magazine, made the same transition as many publications – the move to nonprofit status.
What does that mean? Well, being a nonprofit means that while most of our revenue still comes from advertising, we are able to accept grants from award-winning journalistic organizations and accept donations from readers who know and love our work.
The Qs and As
Why don’t I get Plano Magazine to my house anymore? Are you still printing physical copies? While we resumed printing after the hit to publishers during the pandemic lulled, we currently only distribute to about 75,000 people in Plano. We know that is only a small portion of our great city, and we discuss efforts to expand our distribution and increase places where we have racks regularly. We are currently working to add an accessible map of our rack distribution to our website. For now, if you don’t get the magazine and would like to, please email me at [email protected] and I will see if we are able to deliver to your area.
What happened to the Plano Magazine offices in Plano? Like many publications, after COVID we work mostly from home. As part of the Advocate Media system, we do have offices in the Lakewood area of Dallas, but we do not have a physical office in Plano. However, I don’t see this as a bad thing! When I meet with Plano residents, I like to know your favorite restaurants, coffeeshops and other gathering places. Meeting around the city means getting to see more people and businesses that make Plano awesome, and I look forward to continuing to do that in each future issue.
How can we support Plano Magazine? As most publications are struggling with low staffing numbers, we are no exception. We unfortunately cannot be everywhere at once, so if you hear of events or issues that are important to you as the Plano community, let us know! We will try to cover as much as we can, and prioritize the things that are most important to Planoites from all over the city. While larger publications might have one reporter that covers all of Collin County, they often aren’t residents of the area themselves. We are! You won’t see us covering things only relevant to people in Frisco or Allen or even outside of the county in our publication. If it isn’t about or for Plano, it’s not here.
Are you looking to hire or do you accept interns? We LOVE our Plano Magazine interns and are very flexible depending on what the intern wants to get out of the experience. We have had interns who have been paid through grants we have received as a nonprofit newsroom or through partnerships with UNT programs. We accept college interns who are looking for course credit every summer and occasionally during the school year. We also accept high school interns, who work with us typically on a case-by-case basis to contribute to the magazine and shadow our editors to see how the process works. I have also previously given talks to high school and college journalism students about Plano Magazine and careers in journalism and I would love to talk with any young person who is interested in the field and answer any questions they may have.
Why should we support Plano Magazine? It’s no secret that DFW is home to many amazing and award-winning publications. However, Plano Magazine is the only news publication that focuses solely on Plano. We believe that Plano is excellent and worth its own publication, and we intend to fill that gap and keep it that way. We’re also Planoites. I myself live in Plano, as do our employees. As your neighbors, we care about what you care about and want to see the same positive coverage and positive change that you do. In short,
The bottom line is, we want to be accessible to you as a resource for the community, and love to hear from our readers regardless of the occasion. Feel free to shoot me an email and introduce yourself, and I look forward to meeting you all in the future. And don’t forget to sign up for newsletters if you haven’t already! We send out one newsletter and one events newsletter per week!