By Ben Tinsley
PLANO — Live. Learn. Laugh. Repeat.
That’s the official motto of the Plano-based Good Life Family magazine.
This publication provides not only timely and practical parenting information and helpful life tips to parents of children between their tweens and their 20s, but also to “sandwich generation” parents caught between raising their children and caring for aging parents.
Publisher Sheryl Pidgeon, a Plano mother of three and member of Dallas’ Congregation Shearith Israel, recently reflected on her magazine’s progress since its debut nearly a year ago. January marks the anniversary of Good Life Family magazine.
Pidgeon said a huge emphasis of her publication has been philanthropic — connecting representatives of important causes with readers in need.
Of equal importance, she said, is publishing articles listing the dangers of underage alcohol and drug use, the detrimental effect of performance-enhancing drugs and the damage done by celebrities who glorify such behavior.
Pidgeon said she created Good Life Family magazine to help people — or at the very least provide people with avenues in which they can seek help.
“Our purpose is to provide that communication that can help these families and help these teenagers,” Pidgeon said. “We are committed to being purposeful. There are a lot of magazines out there that only act as advertising venues. But we want to educate, promote commutation and help the parents of these older kids.”
Tricia White, the magazine’s managing editor, agreed.
“I think this has been a fabulous way for family and women to reach out, to get input and ideas to help against the things we are facing,” White said. “ … It’s a great way to network and market and benefit from that knowledge.”
Good Life Family magazine, a free, glossy magazine mailed to homes in Collin, Dallas, and Denton counties, has 225 distribution sites, and an estimated readership of 30,000, according to Pidgeon.
The publisher said the average readers are parents 35 to 65 and children from tweens to 20. (Her own Plano teenage children, Lindsey, 14, Jaxie, 16, and Bryce, 17, fall into that age group.)
The magazine’s topics can range from family issues, to relationships, to health and wellness, philanthropy, personal profiles, home, food, entertainment, fashion and travel.
Although the print publication only hits the stands six times a year, the online version, goodlifefamilymag.com, stays up 24/7.
“It’s just like any other national digital publication,” the publisher said. “It’s updated weekly and often daily.”
Pidgeon describes the physical appearance of her magazine as “beautiful” with great paper stock and a perfect bind.
“One of the comments we get back from readers is how much they like the look and feel of the content,” she said. “They tell us they are reading it cover-to-cover.”
Pidgeon, a tenured marketing professional, worked in marketing, advertising, public relations, and publishing for nearly 30 years and served as ad agency principal of Sheryl Lilly & Associates and MBRK/Sheryl Lilly Group, Dallas.
With her sixth issue (the holiday issue) about to hit the stands soon and her year anniversary only a couple of months away, she reflected on what it was like when first starting the magazine.
She said the decision to pursue this particular avenue wasn’t immediate. She did a lot of soul searching and sought much advice before deciding on her journalistic vehicle.
This magazine is designed to connect the challenges of raising teens with the appropriate resources and information, she said.
During the year and a half she spent developing the concept, the publisher organized a 12-person advisory board to help her and her editorial team examine trends and determine the content of the publication.
That board includes three nonprofit leaders, an elder care lawyer, two high school principals, a middle school principal, an emergency room doctor, an adolescent physician, a police officer, a college president, and a high school senior.
These measures really helped her make up her mind and solidify her direction, the publisher said.
The result of all that stress and all those decisions was the company motto “Live. Learn. Laugh. Repeat.”
“These are very challenging times, and this is something I am very driven by,” Pidgeon said.