No. 715



Every so often when I am making a speech, someone with a camera will pop up and take my picture. My stock response, which I learned from the late Bob Murphy, is to say, especially if the camera had a flash, “You got my bad side…the front.” I really admire and almost envy those people who are photogenic. I am sad to say that I am not, but maybe that is God’s way of keeping me humble. When my wife Viola and I got married, she said, “If the Lord will make you successful, I will keep you humble.” Now she says she did her part and the Lord has not come through.
When it comes to taking pictures and beautiful people, here in our community we have an interesting phenomenon. We have two high-quality niche publications titled, “Women’s Inc.” and “501 Life.” The “Women’s Inc.” publication is self-explanatory and the “501 Life” publication title is the result of events, advertising and feature stories being from communities that are within the 501 area code, which encompasses several surrounding counties. In many cases, they are competing for the same advertising revenue, which makes for friendly competition, which is a good thing. The end result is that they are both fantastic and would compare favorably with similar publications anywhere in the nation.
Every month when I receive these publications, I read them almost cover to cover for a variety of reasons. First, because they are based here in my own community, I know many of the people who write the stories and I also know a good number of people who are photographed and featured in various settings and events, but who all have at least one thing in common. I will tell you what that is at the end of the column. It is literally amazing what a high quality camera and slick glossy stock will do for just ordinary folks like me and perhaps you, too. These cameras don’t get their bad sides. They get their good sides every time.
We normally think of the “Beautiful People” as being in Hollywood or some other glamorous destination, but believe me, they have nothing on us. This is because here we know how to pose, too. As you look through both magazines and see page after page of photographs taken at various functions that run the gamut from a bake sale to a black-tie event celebrity roast, you will see people at their best. The operative word is “Say Cheese,” even though they don’t actually say it.
Now, just a word or two about these two publications, as they may relate to your own community. The first thing needed for any community to have a successful “niche” publication is that the community is large enough, with a population base and strong economy to support it. For the most part, publications of this type are advertising driven, which is to say most of their revenue comes from advertising as opposed to subscriptions income. In many communities a publication of this type is produced by the local chamber of commerce and usually just once a year. They are usually paid for by the membership and primarily used as a promotion and marketing tool for the community.
If you have an interest in producing a publication of this type in your community, I am sure our local newspaper, the Log Cabin Democrat, or the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce would be happy to assist you. I said earlier I would tell you what all of the people featured in both of these publications have in common. They can all read.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)