Greet Bedford not only helps those new movers feel connected to the town, but also informs all the town’s residents about community events and goings-on.
Back in May of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was still wreaking havoc across the globe. Operations ranging from hotels and restaurants to airlines and real estate firms were struggling. As many observers pointed out, it was a lousy time to start a new venture.
But Lynn Faherty Zimmerman didn’t get the memo. In fact, she launched a new N2 community magazine – Bedford Living – for the town of Bedford, NH, that very month and year. Fortunately for Lynn, the timing actually was perfect. “It turned out to be a silver lining because everyone was stuck at their house,” Lynn said. “They’re like, ‘What is this?’ And it’s a social magazine, so they felt like they were connecting with people in the town even though they couldn’t in person.”
Inclusivity Is the Sweet Sauce
Now named Greet Bedford, the magazine isn’t Lynn’s first N2 publication. In 2018, she launched a neighborhood (Stroll) publication in a nearby area. But Greet Bedford has a larger reach – more than 7,100 single-family homes, including those of the magazine’s 100-plus advertisers. Lynn sold her Stroll magazine in 2021 to concentrate solely on Greet.
And Greet is a perfect fit for the Bedford community. The town has been attracting movers from all over the country thanks to the beauty of the nearby mountains and ocean, the proximity to Boston, and the top-notch school system. “It’s just a great place to raise children,” Lynn pointed out.
Greet Bedford not only helps those new movers feel connected to the town, but also informs all the town’s residents about community events and goings-on. “Greet is inclusive rather than exclusive, and I feel like that’s the sweet sauce,” Lynn said.
In Lynn’s view, the magazine helps to promote the “good in the town,” too. There’s no political agenda, only content that seeks to bring everyone together.
The magazine recognizes local teachers, graduating students, and others – and puts a spotlight on residents making a positive difference, inside or outside of the community. It also helps boost involvement in local charities. “It just gives residents outlets for how they can help make the world a better place,” Lynn said. “We’ve also been doing a lot of articles on mental health,” Lynn said. “We’re talking about that more and making it known that it’s very important.”
Supporting the Community
Lynn has expanded the magazine substantially since its launch. It started out at 32 pages and now stands at over 80 pages. Sponsored columns are part of that growth. One column, for example, provides need-to-know general information – things like where to vote in upcoming elections and where to pick up student parking passes. Another column is dedicated to an in-town nonprofit farm that shares information about its operations, as well as fun on-farm events for families.
The sponsors of this social program understand they’re doing much more than running an ad. They’re supporting the community – and its families and nonprofits. “It’s also helping them build word of mouth in the right community that can afford their products and services,” Lynn said. “They love our business-to-business networking events too. It is like our own Chamber of Commerce or BNI in Bedford. Lastly, they love the new homeowner connections they make through our events, Preferred Vendor Listing Sheet, and Welcome Gift Bag.
Lynn shared two sponsor success stories demonstrating the unique power of Greet. The first involves a physical therapist who had just moved to the area from Massachusetts and knew no one in town. He took over sponsorship of the magazine’s “Important Phone Numbers” listing. A year later, that client was named the winner in the Physical Therapy category in Southern New Hampshire’s “Best of the 603” competition. “He said that would not have happened without the help of the magazine, because it got people comfortable with who he was,” Lynn said. “So that was a big win for him.”
Another success story is tied to a Greet Bedford event – a welcome get-together Lynn recently hosted for new homeowners. In attendance was a couple who had just moved to Bedford from Malibu, California. They mentioned that a complete home makeover was in their near-term plans, so Lynn introduced the couple to a party guest, a magazine sponsor who happened to be a painter. “ This client emailed me the next day, saying, ‘Oh, I love that I am partnered with Greet Bedford.’ That’s what they want; they want to show up and participate and be a part of the community.
There are many other happy advertisers, too. In fact, Lynn’s renewal rate is more than 70%, more than two times that of national print advertising.
Paige, Lynn, Bridget, and Brian celebrate Bridget’s high school graduation.
Supporting a Cause
Lynn’s advertisers also appreciate that 2% of N2 Company’s profits go to N2GIVES to support nonprofits working to end human trafficking. When she onboards a new client, Lynn calculates the amount of the total contract value that will be donated.
Lynn determined that her clients have helped and will help to save 550+ people from human trafficking situations since she started with N2 in 2018. That number jumps to almost 700 when cross-sales and Hyport Digital are thrown into the mix. “Every Thanksgiving, I write my clients a letter to let them know that their partnership with us is impacting more than just the community,” Lynn said. “It’s impacting those who are being human trafficked globally.”
Checking All the Boxes
When she launched Greet Bedford, Lynn set out to embrace inclusivity and bring the entire Bedford community together by showcasing the good in the town and making connections at different levels. She certainly did that – during a pandemic, to boot! It’s safe to say that the Bedford community is delighted that Lynn didn’t get the memo.