Did you happen to read about Advocate Community Newspapers in the Dec. 18 Dallas Business Journal? The Journal’s special East Dallas section featured a lengthy story about us by reporter Lisa Tanner (complete with a photo of yours truly).

It’s been said that any publicity is better than none at all, so it’s doubly nice when our work is recognized and honored as being valuable to the community we serve.

If you’d like a copy of the special section, give us a call at 341-3353. We just happen to have a few reprints lying around the office.

Why Are We Doing This?

One question Advocate readers frequently ask me is: “Why do you do what you do?”

There are two reasons, really.

First, we believe stronger neighborhoods mean better lives for those who call East Dallas and Lakewood “home.”

It’s the old “am I my brother’s keeper” question, and our answer is “yes.” Each of us is responsible not only for our own family, but for the family next door and the family down the street – and on both sides of the tracks.

That’s why you’ll find each Advocate filled with stories about neighborhood residents who are taking an active role in improving our lives, as well as plenty of news about our schools, our volunteer opportunities and our crime statistics.

Knowledge about our neighborhood allows us to fix the things that are broken and support the ones that work. And that’s what we aim to provide each month in the Advocate – a working knowledge of our neighborhoods, and a roadmap to help improve them.

The second reason we publish the Advocate is more straightforward. This is what I do to earn a living. This reason’s a little less esoteric, but no less important to my wife, our 15-month-old son, our cat and our mortgage lender.

OK, What’s the Catch?

Another common question from readers: How can you afford to distribute the Advocate to my home free each month? This question usually is followed by another, more skeptical one: When are you going to start charging me to receive the Advocate?

Answer number one: We don’t plan to begin charging for subscriptions. Instead, the paper is designed so that advertising pays the publishing and delivery costs for the more than 42,000 Advocates distributed to homes in target neighborhoods each month.

The neighborhood retailers and businesspeople who advertise each month in the Advocate do so for one reason: They want your business, and they know the Advocate is without question the most cost-effective advertising vehicle to reach their customers.

Their livelihood depends upon convincing you to spend time and money with them. Give our advertisers a chance to impress you when you need their product. If they’re competitive, give them your business. If they’re not, tell them so.

And in either case, don’t forget to mention the Advocate so they’ll know how you found them.

If you don’t support competitive neighborhood advertisers, they won’t advertise in and support the Advocate.

And if advertisers don’t support the Advocate, the answer to that second question about when we’ll begin charging for Advocate delivery is short and sweet.

Soon.

My wife and kid will make sure of that.