Cover of Ranch & Coast April issue
The cover of Ranch & Coast’s April issue.

In contrast to the recent closings of San Diego Magazine and San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles, Encinitas-based Ranch & Coast Magazine is continuing to publish with a 76-page April issue despite the economic challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re not going anywhere,” publisher Bob Stefanko told Times of San Diego. “We are here to stay. We are not going to quit. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. Our team truly believes this is our moment to step up. These are the times when readers most need information and community. We have an extra responsibility to our readers and we’re committed to keeping it.”

Stefanko has owned Ranch & Coast since April 1998. It was founded in 1964.

The glossy magazine, which bills itself as “San Diego’s Luxury Lifestyle Magazine,” has a circulation of 27,000 copies that are direct-mailed to homes in Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch, La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff, South Carlsbad, Carmel Valley and Encinitas. The magazine’s website traffic exceeds 60,000 page views monthly and a weekly e-newsletter has more than 12,000 subscribers.

Editor-in-chief Mia Park said planning is underway for future print editions, including May and June. “The pandemic has become an opportunity to discover and re-discover the people and companies who enliven our community,” she said. “We have relationships that we cherish, and we are parlaying that into reader service on every possible platform.”

“Remaining focused during this challenging time, our editorial team has become more purpose-driven with our print pages while utilizing our website, social platforms, and e-newsletter to inform and engage readers during a time of crisis. On Instagram, we’re alerting our readers of food delivery and online social galas. Meanwhile, our e-newsletters have become a cozier platform with feel-good stories specifically curated. For print, we are honing in on what people want to read curled up on their couch. For the time being, our dining section is nixing restaurant reviews in favor of at-home recipes from local chefs, for example. And the home section will feature relevant content to inspire and encourage readers,” Park said.

“We’ll also be recognizing the health heroes and companies who’ve stepped up during this crisis. The whole community is working together to provide help to others. As editors, we are building on our connectedness and access, laying out the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

In an e-mail statement to subscribers and advertisers, Stefanko and Park said, “We are here for you. Like the rest of the world, our day-to-day lives have changed, and we’re adjusting. At home, our editors are in constant contact with an incredible network of partners and stewards to collectively keep the dialogue going.”

In March, San Diego Magazine announced its April 2020 issue would be the last in a 72-year run, although publisher Jim Fitzpatrick stated he’s hoping to reopen operations after the coronvirus crisis passes.

A few days later in March, San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles also announced it was no longer in business after 41 years. Owner Mark McKinnon, admitting it was a tough decision to close the doors, said the publication might return in a post-COVID-19 world, possibly under different ownership.

IABC Presents Free Pandemic Communications Webinars

The International Association of Business Communicators will present a free webinar on “How to Adapt Internal Communications Strategies During a Pandemic” starting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 9.

Presenters will include Carolyn Clark, senior director of internal communication at GoDaddy, and Jason Anthoine, managing founder of Audacity.

Clark’s career has included consumer PR, product PR, media relations, corporate communication and HR communication at major tech companies, including Yahoo, Oath, and GoDaddy. Prior to entering the tech industry, she spent time working on PR campaigns for celebrities, consumer brands and media companies.

Anthoine has 30 years of experience in internal communication, culture change and employee engagement with more than 100 companies and 200,000 employees. He specializes in uncovering workplace challenges and developing strategies to take advantage of those opportunities.

The April 9 webinar topics will include internal communications tips and best practices to help organizations pivot to work-from-home cultures and to help communicators stay sane, motivated and balanced.

Another free IABC webinar, titled “Reaching Everyone Working From Home,” will be presented at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28. Topics will include how video conferencing bandwidth can be impacted within people’s homes when family members are watching movies, engaged in online education and surfing the internet all at the same time.

For webinar registration and more resources, including crisis communications strategies and resources relating to COVID-19, visit the IABC resources page.

Havas Edge Promotes Abusaleh to Co-CEO

Abed Abusaleh

Havas Edge, a Carlsbad-based marketing agency, has announced that Abed Abusaleh has been promoted to co-CEO with Steve Netzley, company founder and current CEO. The appointment will allow Netzley to focus on a new role as global CEO and expand the company’s sister entity, called Edge Performance Network, through acquisitions and start-ups in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the company said.

“This company has been a dynamic part of my life for over 18 years,” said Abusaleh, who joined Havas Edge in 2002. “I am passionate about our clients, the innovative work that we do, and the incredible staff and culture we have. I am proud to lead our company in a greater capacity.”

“The creation of the Edge Performance Network began over four years ago and it has been embraced by clients from both Europe and North America,” said Netzley. “They are now looking for us to build on this success and I’m excited by the challenge of delivering for them. I am passionate about this advancement in the performance marketing industry, inspired by the opportunity to build the world’s first global performance marketing network.”

Who’s Listening to Radio During Virus Crisis?

Since radio is primarily an out-of-home medium heard mostly while driving in your car or at traditional workplaces, has listening behavior changed due to stay-at-home coronavirus pandemic orders?

Insider Radio, a radio trade publication, recently interviewed industry experts who believe listenership has dropped at least by 25 percent during radio’s prime 6 a.m.-to-7 p.m. daypart, when most radio listening occurs. In addition, nighttime listening has decreased as much as 70 percent from 7 p.m. to midnight, when radio listening typically drops off and TV consumption rises. Further studies are planned, Insider Radio said.

In contrast, A.C. Nielsen surveyed 1,000 adults, ages 18 and older, March 20 to 22, and found 83 percent said they are spending the same or more time with radio as a result of COVID-19. Nielsen also said one in four respondents said they have “looked for new ways to listen to my favorite radio station or personality” because of the coronavirus outbreak. Those new ways to enhance listener interactions outside of terrestrial are including podcasting, on-demand streaming audio, video, social media and other platforms, said Insider Radio.

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.