It used to be said that in a big city, the only time your name would appear in a newspaper was when you were born and when you died.

But in a city as big as Dallas, your birth and death isn’t likely to be written up unless a shotgun or fiery car wreck or bag of drugs happen to be part of the story.

We at the Advocate like to think we’ve changed that.

This month’s Advocate marks a few milestones:

  • Our East Dallas/Lakewood Advocate is closing in on five years of publication, with a monthly distribution exceeding 33,000;
  • Our Lake Highlands Advocate newspaper begins its third year this month, with a distribution of more than 20,000 monthly; and
  • Our new Greenville/Vickery Park Advocate debuts this month with a direct-mail distribution of 17,000 and a readership including The Village apartment complex.

We’ve grown from a garage operation to three publications employing seven full-time employees and several van-loads of part-timers and freelancers – most of whom, I’m proud to say, live and work with the rest of us right here in our neighborhood.

This month, Advocate Community Newspapers will reach more than 70,000 homes in our neighborhoods. More than 60,000 Advocates will be delivered free-of-charge directly to doorsteps and mailboxes – more neighborhood distribution than that of the Morning News, the Observer, the Greensheet or the Thrifty Nickel.

The reason for our success has a lot to do with what’s in the paper – editorially and in the advertisements.

We’re the place to find stories about the junior high cheerleading team, the neighborhood school’s PTA president, or the guy who spends his free time taking care of a street median. We’re the place to find ads for your neighborhood cleaners, florist, real estate agent or car dealer.

When I attend a neighborhood meeting of virtually any sort, I am invariably greeted by a handful of people who seem pretty excited to meet someone associated with the Advocate.

“It’s a great paper,” they say.

“We read it from cover to cover.”

“We really like your paper.”

“Your paper does so much for our neighborhoods.”

I can’t tell you how much these complements swell my chest, and I can’t tell you how much I wish I could load each and every one of you loyal Advocate readers into my car for a quick sales trip to one of our neighborhood retail shopping centers.

The Advocate reaches your doorstep without cost each month thanks entirely to the support of neighborhood advertisers. Our ability to continue growing and publishing a greater amount and variety of neighborhood news is limited solely by the amount of advertising support we receive from neighborhood business people.

Their advertising support, as it should be, is entirely contingent upon the response they receive from our readers.

So if you like our newspaper, please let your cleaners and your florist and your real estate agent and your car dealer know that you saw (or didn’t see) their advertisement in the Advocate.

And if you want to continue helping improve our neighborhood news coverage, keep calling and writing with story ideas, even those about yourselves and your family.

With a few more advertisers and your continued readership, you’ll be receiving an Advocate every month for a long, long time.

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