When my wife and I started this magazine just over seven years ago, we set out to help the parents in the Roanoke Valley—young parents, parents of kids age zero to seven—learn more about what our region had to offer. After all, those are the kinds of parents we were at the time. As new parents, we needed a resource we could turn to so our family knew what to do, where to go, and with whom to spend our hard-earned money.
Our magazine staff has always heard from our partners and potential partners that our audience skews to the parents of younger kids. And while that is partially true, we have noticed that our readership has continued to grow with parents of older kids, too, and we have made a concerted effort to include more content geared toward these parents. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if your children are infants or teenagers—we are all raising a FAMILY.
At the same time, after these past seven years, our own kids—who were just five and six at the time of the magazine’s inception—are now not a part of the target audience we set out to reach back then. My oldest is starting high school in the fall, and my youngest is not far behind, heading to eighth grade.
When my wife and I sat down and discussed the magazine’s future, we realized it was time to make sure that families stick with us from birth through the teen years. Our family had GROWN out of our core audience from seven years ago, and we realized many of our readers’ children had grown, as well. We wanted to make sure we were a part of each and every FAMILY as they continued to GROW UP in the Roanoke Valley, whether they were new parents, were preparing their children for kindergarten, or were the parents of teenagers. Additionally, as the Roanoke Valley continues to GROW, many new families are moving in to the area. In the cities from which the newcomers are moving, there is often a parenting publication called “Parents” or “Family.” If our magazine had a similar name, we decided, that would make it easier for these new neighbors to find us!
Rest assured, we are not changing who we are or what we do. We will continue to provide great local content, info, and more. In fact, it’s our goal to become even more community-minded and locally focused over the next year. With the exit of local community publications like The Roanoke Star and the Roanoke Times‘ weekly local newspapers, there is an obvious need for such content, and we intend to be there covering local school news, youth sports, and more.
So, thanks being for being a part of our FAMILY. We are glad to work with each of you, and we look forward to what the future holds for Roanoke Valley Family Magazine!