M.J. Plebon, Montreal online marketing and lead development specialist speaks with Andrew Burlone and Patricia Dumais of Visionnaires, a branding design company in Westmount, Quebec. Andrew and Patricia are the founders of WestmountMag.ca, a bilingual online urban lifestyle magazine which is due to launch May 7, 2015. Westmount is one of Canada’s most affluent municipalities, just west of downtown Montreal.
M.J.: How did the concept of WestmountMag.ca come about and why did you start it?Andrew: WestmountMag.ca began with the desire to assist Westmount merchants in promoting their businesses. With a slow economy and intense online competition, many Westmount businesses are facing hard times and some are closing shop. The City of Westmount and merchant associations have attempted to promote the local businesses but with limited success. Our research has shown that many Westmount merchants have little or no visibility on the Internet. Their web sites are often outdated, not maintained, non-responsive or simply non-existent and merchants have little time and experience to attend to their own promotional needs.
We thought a turn-key solution would be the best solution for them and with further thought we came up with the idea of WestmountMag.ca, an attractive, bilingual, cosmopolitan ‘New Urban Lifestyle’ online magazine, accessible from any digital platform, desktop, tablet or phone. The goal is to get residents of Westmount and neighbouring communities acquainted with local merchants and service providers, therefore boosting the local economy. To appeal to this urbane audience, the publication will offer entertaining and informative articles that will draw traffic to the website, enticing visitors to check our extensive directory of merchants and service providers. WestmountMag.ca will also provide a calendar of community events listed in selectable categories.
M.J.: What will the editorial focus of the magazine be?Patricia: The magazine will feature human interest stories and advisory articles on topics such as Community Life, Arts and Culture, Home Decor, Fashion, Finance, Real Estate, Shopping, Wine and Gastronomy, Travel, Leisure, Fitness, Wellness and other subject of interest to our audience. The website will also showcase available real estate in Westmount and surrounding areas.
M.J.: Who are you targeting as your audience?
Patricia: WestmountMag.ca will target Westmounters, of course, but also residents from the neighbouring communities of NDG, Hampstead, Côte-Saint-Luc, Snowdon, Verdun, Nuns Island, south-central and Greater Montreal. Demographically, our target audiences include young and single adults, families and active seniors. In short there will be something for everyone in the community.
M.J.: It takes many people to run a good online magazine. Who do you have to help you with WestmountMag.ca?
Andrew: We are very fortunate to have award-winning journalist Wayne Larsen, formerly editor of the Westmount Examiner, as our editor-in-chief. We have also enlisted Wanda Potrykus, well known for her ever-popular Westmount poetry events, as our Poetry/Short Story editor. And M.J. Plebon of Communication Impact is contributing his SEO and social media expertise to ensure WestmountMag.ca has optimal visibility on the web.
M.J.: When are you launching the magazine and where can people find it?
Patricia: WestmountMag.ca will be launched on May 7, 2015. An official inauguration event is being planned for later that month. Readers can access WestmountMag.ca on the internet from any digital platform.
M.J.: Thank you Patricia and Andrew for your time. This is a very exciting project and Westmounters and Montrealers will be looking forward to the launch of your online magazine. For those who want to subscribe and read the magazine, click on WestmountMag.ca on May7, 2015.