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OPINION: The Things We are Thankful For

Published Nov 26, 2013, 3:52pm -


As we look around and see folks getting ready to celebrate US Thanksgiving locally and north of the border, we can’t help but to take a moment to acknowledge you, our reader.

For the past 25 years—yes, Vallarta Lifestyles Publishing Group has been around that long—you’ve flipped through and read the pages of our print publications. Some of them, like Yates & Villas, Costa Vallarta Luxury Living and Vallarta Voice, had their heyday along the way and are now in our fond memories. Others, like our monthly Real Estate Guide and our flagship Vallarta Lifestyles, continue to provide you with useful and entertaining information on every issue (Vallarta Lifestyles has been in continuous circulation since 1991). Along the way, you have taken the time to reach out to us in gratitude when we’ve written something you particularly enjoyed, and we are grateful for that. At the same time, we’ve tried to create a welcoming environment for you to reach out and disagree with us when you have not shared our viewpoints. And reached out you have! We are grateful for that, too.

When the Internet arrived, we established our online presence through our websites: virtualvallarta.com for visitors and locals looking for trustworthy information about our destination; mlsvallarta.com for those in the market for homes, condominiums and land in the area; and vallartarealestateguide.com with useful information and resources for those looking to successfully navigate through real estate investing in a foreign country. As the time has passed, a large number of similar websites have appeared in the region, each offering their own take on the best Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit have to offer. Some of them do such a good job, we have forged alliances with them in order to provide you with even more reliable and comprehensive content. Regardless of the competition, and thanks to our analytics reports, we know that you continue to visit, trust and recommend our own websites. We are grateful for that, too!

A couple years ago, we developed a weekly email newsletter, primarily to help Vallarta fans that spend summers away from here, stay in touch with what’s going on in town during their absence. Along the way, we’ve tweaked its content and format to make it more useful not only to them, but to visitors and locals looking for exciting things to do while they are here. You have responded in kind! As you can see through the graph below, our subscribers (3,500+) have been steadily increasing since its inception, and continue to rise. In addition, more and more of you eagerly send us news about your events so we can feature them in our calendar. We are grateful for that, too!

Vallarta Lifestyles Email Newsletter subscribers over the past 12 months have steadily increased.

Way back, we used to offer a print magazine subscription service. However, with mailing and shipping costs, it eventually became impractical for us to send you copies of Vallarta Lifestyles via regular mail. Thanks to analytics reports, we know you love the digital edition of Vallarta Lifestyles and repeatedly refer to it when you want to revisit a specific article, or are planning a getaway weekend to a town we’ve written about in the past. ¡Muchas gracias!

Hoping to reach out to even more of you, we launched our Vallarta Lifestyles Facebook Page to the delight of 4,200+ fans who like us. And for those of you that prefer your updates short, sweet and to the point, we launched our Twitter page less than a month. Since then, we’ve been able to identify some of the most influential Twitter users in the region and are very grateful for the small, yet rapidly increasing number of followers we’ve gained so far. We must be doing something right. Our Twitter following table, below, shows how, in a short time, we are being followed by more and more of you.

In less than a month since we started, we have substantially increased our Twitter following. Yay!

All the above said, we are far from perfect. We make (and learn from our) mistakes. Like that dreadful page in Lifestyles a couple issues ago where we misspelled the word “Vallarta” over and over again. Talk about a blunder! I even had to endure the jabbing phone call from a fellow editor who couldn’t stop laughing... (Good thing she's a dear, dear friend!) We know you are curious about the "Valarta" typo page, so we’ll save you some research time. Here is the link. Go ahead and laugh with us! It was clearly, not one of our shining moments, but we’re grateful for your company in such challenging times, as well.

On a more personal note, for the past 12 years, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of being part of our publishing group’s journey with you. We’ve seen you grow and evolve into a more diverse reader. You come from nearby towns and faraway places. You get here by plane and by bicycle. You feel perfectly at ease here thanks to many repeat visits and you are a first-time traveller, concerned about your safety. Your travel budget allows for nightly restaurant dinners and none. It doesn’t matter. The challenge of writing, photographing, proofing, designing, producing and publishing something useful to share with all of you remains our top priority.

So, as you glaze your turkey with cranberry sauce in the company of loved ones, please know that we are thinking about you, our reader. Your curiosity, feedback, comments, suggestions, ideas and ongoing preference for our publications mean the world to us, and we wholeheartedly thank you for that.

Happy Thanksgiving!

—Paco Ojeda, Managing Editor • editor@mexmags.com

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