The BV has been named Digital Magazine of the Year (Prestige Awards), and Local Monthly Publication of the Year (CorporateLiveWire Awards). Judges were impressed by The BV’s “range of stellar columnists and contributors”, and comments included “each edition is packed with stories that define Dorset culture, encapsulating an authentic slice of the region”.
Both of these international industry awards recognise the work of small and independent businesses, acknowledging the best in their market based on factors such as quality of service, innovation, experience, and sustainability.
‘We were thrilled to receive the first award, but to win the two has been amazing. It's down to the brilliant, talented team we have working with us,’ said Laura Hitchcock, owner and editor of The BV.
‘We’re proud to have achieved these awards, but we are excited to continue pushing the boundaries of digital publishing in the coming year,’ said Courtenay Hitchcock, owner and head of sales. The 110+ page publication happens each month thanks solely to the two man husband and wife team.
Laura and Courtenay launched The BV in August 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. ‘We literally started from nothing – no audience, no brand recognition and entirely empty social media accounts!” says Laura.
Today The BV’s Facebook reach alone is over 200,000 people a month, and subscriber numbers have increased 50 per cent year on year. ‘Of course, being a subscriber just means an early peek; it arrives in your inbox on publication day. But the magazine is freely available across all our platforms.’ explains Laura.
‘We live here in the Blackmore Vale, we’ve run our own businesses in the local community, our children went to our local schools – we are our audience and our advertisers.’ says Courtenay. ‘It’s not just a business for us, I think that’s the key to its success. We’re so proud that The BV has so swiftly grown to be the trusted modern voice for our often-forgotten corner of the country.
‘We knew we had to set out a business model that worked for a micro-team. Instead of filling pages with traditional local media small ads, we chose to build strong and sustainable partnerships with local businesses, creating mutually beneficial relationships tailored to the unique needs of each partner. Of course we run advertising, but we actively encourage collaborations – we are always excited to hear from forward-thinking brands and to explore new opportunities. We enjoy creating connections between businesses and the community at large, working together to broaden reach and open conversations.’
'I think we succeed because we focus on quality in every area,’ says Laura. ‘Traditional journalism combines with the latest digital business skills. An eye for excellent photography with a painstakingly thorough sub-editing team. The BV is a clear demonstration of all that can be achieved by a free regional publication with a tiny team when you choose the right people and have the right skills.'
The March issue of the The BV is out now: https://bit.ly/BVlatest