Kailua Town will get its own Talk Story advertorial magazine
THE COMPANY that brought Talk Story Magazine to mailboxes around Oahu will debut Kailua Town magazine next week.
Talk Story Magazine Inc. will mail out the new Kailua-centric advertorial publication on Monday. It mirrors Talk Story's format of ads placed unabashedly alongside stories about the businesses doing the advertising.
Kailua Town Magazine is being published as Talk Story celebrates its one-millionth mailing. Each issue is mailed free to 200,000 homes.
Publisher Mike Fuller is no Woodward or Bernstein, as he told TheBuzz in 2003.
"I don't try to hide the fact that it is paid advertising."
"This isn't hard-hitting investigative journalism," he said at the time.
His business model has changed since the column nearly three years ago.
Talk Story is now an Oahu-wide publication, whereas it had been five magazines, published by zone, four times a year for Pearl City/Aiea; Windward Oahu; Kapolei/Ewa Beach; Mililani; and East Honolulu.
"We started (the consolidation) with the winter 2004 issue," he said. "We knew when we went islandwide we had to focus on building on that particular product and not do the zones anymore."
Rather than four times a year, Talk Story now has three press runs a year and is mailed out in March, July and November.
A year and a half into the new business model, the company was ready to try something familiar, with a new name: A zone publication for Kailua.
"We want the people in the community to know, when they receive it, that 'it is just for my community, right here,'" he said. "That is one of the reasons why we did the Kailua Town magazine."
It will be published twice a year, in May and September, and mailed to 15,000 Kailua households.
Some extra copies are distributed by the businesses that request issues to distribute, but those not on the mailing list can also view the entire publication online.
"We put the full content online at no extra charge (to advertisers)," he said. Kailua Town will also be online. Both offer links to clients' Web sites.
The previous, zoned-out version of Talk Story magazine offered advertising discounts for placement in multiple editions and there is some crossover advertising between the Oahu-wide Talk Story and Kailua Town magazine.
Big City Diner, with four locations, is in both publications. The ad graphics are similar, but some of the text and the coupons are different. The stories are also different. The Kailua Town story about Big City Diner's Kailua eatery emphasizes its patio, which makes that location unique, Fuller said.
While Big City hasn't purchased advertising in each issue, "they've been with us since the early days," Fuller said.
On the other side of the coin, "a lot of the businesses in Kailua are not particularly prospects for the island-wide (edition)," Fuller said.
Venues for advertising are branching out from traditional print and broadcast media to the Internet and now even into video games -- so Fuller has many foes to fight for clients' ad dollars.
He feels he has a unique niche.
Newspapers are read and recycled, which is the nature of a newspaper, but his digest-sized magazines are colorful, slick and glossy -- they are "filled with interesting stories about local businesses, they're a quick read and you walk away with (new) information," he said.
He constantly hears positive feedback about increased customer traffic once one of his magazines hits mailboxes. It is what he enjoys the most about what he does, especially when he hears such tales from new advertisers who hear from new customers drawn in by the magazine.
"It's almost as if the customers get to know the business owners." The magazine's paid stories "are creating a comfort level (for customers) so they're willing to go and visit that company for its service or product," Fuller said.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com