Filling a Void in the Upper Valley Arts Community
Literally coming from nowhere, The Complete Hoot arrived on the scene last July and already has a circulation of several thousand copies each time it’s published which, for now, is bi-weekly.
The brainchild of Jo and Jerry Evarts, The Complete Hoot - subtitled Arts, Life & Entertainment in the Upper Valley - seeks to present in one very readable format virtually everything you need and want to know about the Upper Valley arts and entertainment scene. And, get this - it’s free.
Someone once said that the best way to be successful in business is to find a need and fill it. Well, the Evarts found the need and knew they had a very good idea on how to fill it, but they also knew that they needed help. They had so many questions and, at that moment, so few answers. How large an area to cover? How often to publish - weekly or bi-weekly? How big should the publication be - both in size and number of pages per issue? Would it be acceptable to the potential readers if the publication was printed in black and white or should it be in color which is much more costly? How much to charge per issue or should it be free and totally supported by advertising? What hardware and software would be needed to interface with an area printer? How do you sell advertising space in a new publication? Is there a need for an actual business location so advertisers and potential employees among others could visit? In addition to budget, and staffing, and banking considerations among so many others.
Fortunately, Jo and Jerry saw an ad for a SCORE workshop on marketing. Not only did they attend the workshop, but they learned that SCORE - Counselors to America’s Small Business - provides free one-on-one counseling for start-up business along with counseling for existing businesses that might be experiencing some difficulties. So, they signed up with SCORE and requested assistance from a SCORE counselor. Enter Counselor Susan Davidson.
Working together for weeks on end, Jo, Jerry, and Susan came up with enough answers to enable The Complete Hoot to finally go to press in July 2007.
So here it is, all in one place. Arts calendars and performance schedules, restaurant reviews, book reviews, movie reviews, reviews of all manner of theatrical productions, and editorials on arts-related issues. Virtual one-stop shopping for the Upper Valley arts community from Hanover to Cornish and Woodstock to Meriden. Copies are available in area grocery stores, arts centers, arts venues, visitor centers, bookstores, libraries, restaurants, inns, B &Bs, real estate offices, and upscale retailers.
And, do yourself a favor. Check out The Complete Hoot web site at www.thecompletehoot.com. It’s really a companion piece to the publication, not just a “who are we and how can you reach us” web site. It’s crisp, clean, and very user friendly.