The Best Reward

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

No-one starts a business to win awards, however just going through the process can be a reward in itself. Founder Deb Caruso shares the passion that drives the IN Publishing team.

When we first started IN Noosa Magazine almost eight years ago and Hello Sunshine Magazine 12 months ago, I didn’t imagine that we would win back-to-back accolades in the Sunshine Coast Business Awards for Creative Industries (Large business). Yet here we are. And we are very grateful and excited to be here. 

For us, the awards are recognition of all the hard work, the sleepless nights, the extra mile that we go to in order to INform, INdulge and INspire and shine a light on the Savvy, Surprising and Spirited people of this region. It is also a great way to reach more readers and businesses to create meaningful connections.

What makes the 2021 Award win sweeter is that it was on the back of what was a shocking two years for business, particularly the media. Mid-2020 saw a lot of local media, particularly print, reduce distribution or frequency, move their publications to a digital-only format or shut down altogether. 

Going through the process of submitting our award entry made us take the time to revisit our core vision and reason for being; review how far we have come and all the challenges we faced.

Our vision is to connect the community through storytelling and shine a light on the amazing people, business and organisations that make this area special. 

We exist to INform, INdulge and INspire our readers to be a positive and active contributor to their community; and to celebrate the Savvy, Surprising and Spirited people and businesses. 

We engage our readers to connect with local businesses, organisations and individuals. 

We have no shortage of great stories and we showcase the unique qualities and character of our region from the pages of our magazines to our digital channels and interviews on our podcast, Everyone Has a Story: Conversations from the Sunshine Coast & Noosa. 

Every edition features inspiring people from our front cover artist to chef profiles; human interest stories, fashion shoots and interviews with the people behind the brands and boutiques – creators, survivors, enablers and doers!

We are most proud of how we continued to support local businesses and readers through the 2020 COVID lockdown with social media and e-newsletters. For local businesses, we collated support information and connected them with each other. For our readers, the regular updates minimised feelings of isolation and also helped them find ways to support local businesses. 

Coming out of COVID, we recognised the need to connect community was stronger than ever and managed to produce a whopping 180-page magazine, The Guide: Special Edition, in less than three weeks! The overwhelming feedback from readers and grateful business owners made it worthwhile. 

This time last year, we not only launched Hello Sunshine – a Savvy, Surprising and Spirited Magazine for the Sunshine Coast but we helped local chef Nilla Tomkins realise her dream to produce a vegetarian cookbook sharing the recipes from her popular cafes. VanillaFood: The Cookbook is a 260+page celebration of her passion for wholesome and real food. 

We are driven to help others to succeed – to shine a light on the unsung local heroes or talented artist or humble business. When we won the Sunshine Coast Business Award for Creative Industries in 2019, we were so proud because we saw that as a win for all the creatives in the region – from the artists we profile from our front covers to inside the magazine; the chefs and producers we celebrate; the local photographers we use and the writers who help share the stories of those in our community. 

It is a win for our extremely passionate team, our readers and our savvy clients who understand and believe in a better way to build their business.

We are more than a magazine and will continue to evolve, innovate and create products and channels that help connect our community and offer businesses a smarter way to promote their services. 

Thank you for reading, it means a lot!

About the Author /

[email protected]

Deb has 25+ years' experience providing strategic communications and brand reputation advice to clients in the government, business and not-for-profit clients. She is passionate about Noosa and is an active member of her community, providing PR to Slow Food Noosa and other clients. Her passion lies in working with small businesses to help them succeed. She is planning to release the Tastes of Noosa cookbook with Matt Golinski in 2019.

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