Community Magazine of the Year 2015
All About Teamwork
When Sascha McDonald, the Publishing Editor of All About Magazines, started All About West of the Hills, she never thought that nearly seven years later her magazines would win the national ‘Community Magazine 2015’ award at the Independent Magazine Publishers Conference this October. But it did and she did, alongside two other awards – highly commended Inspirational Business Woman 2015 and Best Social Media Presence 2015 for our Facebook page. Here she tells her story.
Casting my mind back to the end of 2008 I see myself and my computer, in a little office in our house, working really hard at the start-up of a new local magazine for the area west of the Malvern Hills. I had never done anything like that in my life and I remember living on adrenaline for months on end. It was the most scary, exciting and challenging time! There were lots of firsts; selling space to businesses, designing adverts, laying out and putting together a magazine, invoicing, chasing payments, distributing thousands of magazines… but some kind of deep drive got me through it and the very first magazine went off to print by the deadline I had set myself.
After that first edition, called ‘Colwall & Area and delivered by hand to 2,500 houses initially, the magazine went from strength to strength and very soon I called in the help of an accountant – Steve Ollis from Active Accountants, who is still with me, someone to keep the finance admin in order and Tina, our fantastic and dedicated sales person for Malvern. She helped me launch our second ‘All About Malvern’ magazine within the first year of starting the business, and is still working very hard behind the scenes to fill our magazines with local business and services.
With launching a community website (www.allaboutmalvernhills.com) in 2012 and a third magazine in Worcester in 2013 the group of hard workers behind the scene now includes Julie, who does a lot of administration and finances, and Teresa, who takes care of the sales in Worcester. What a team! Without them All About Magazines would not be where we are now.
Winning these three awards has humbled me, has excited me and has made me proud and thankful. Of my team, including James, my husband, who writes most of the content of our magazines. Of my children, who sometimes have to be patient with a hard working mother, especially when it is close to deadline. Of our fantastic team of deliverers, including John from Mitchell Distribution in Worcester, who works so hard in all weathers to get the copies out to everyone. Of our loyal customers, many of whom stay with us year in year out. Of our printers, Warwick Printing, who print the highest quality magazines time and time again. Of our support in the background; Steve the accountant, Quay Systems for our magazine software, my business mentor Robbie Hazelhurst for always giving me a listening ear and sound advice, fellow publishers across the country. And last but not least, to you, for reading the magazines, using the magazines and keeping the magazines.
'Congratulations on your awards, you deserve them!' - Carol, Grange Farm Nursery in Guarlford
'Congratulations to you and everyone on becoming Community Magazine of the Year.' - Carol, Colwall Community Choir
'Congratulations on your award, well deserved!' - Andrew, Andrew Phillips Funeral Services, in Malvern
'All fully deserved, Sascha, and thank you from The Downs Malvern for all that you do promoting local events and news.' - Alastair Cook, Head
'Huge congratulations! You all work so hard!' - Julie, Number One Hair & Beauty, in Malvern
'Congratulations and well deserved' - Kathy Scott, Hands on at Work in Worcester
'Congratulations! Very well deserved!' - Lizzy, Our Lizzy Cooking in Malvern
'Excellent news. Well done indeed!' - Tina Palmer, All About Magazines
'Proud of you and our team Sascha McDonald. Love what we do.' - Julie Tristram, All About Magazines
'You deserve all three of them. Well done!!!' - Steve Ollis, Active Accountants in Malvern
'Congratulations to you ALL, but to you & your husband especially, on winning all your presigious awards! You more than deserve them...I am very pleased for you' - Letter from Micheal Shiner, local resident in Malvern
'Dear everyone at All About Magazines. Just a quick email to congratulate you all on winning the awards for Best Social Media and Community Magazine, as well as Highly Commended Business Owner, and also to wish you all a Merry Christmas. With best wishes for 2016' - Sarah Gittings
And many personal congratulations, given to us over the phone, in emails, in social media and in the street....