Dear Mr. Miner:

Thank you for your continuing interest in covering the growth and changes in Lake magazine over the years [Hot Type, May 19]. Perhaps, as you suggest, some advertisers do not perceive a difference between Lake, launched in 2000, and those who have imitated us in the past year. But, as that famous Illinoisan explained: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” Please permit me to make a few additional points not noted in your article.

Lake has a highly targeted and selective distribution that includes key sites in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area; Wisconsin lakeshore area communities, including Kohler and Milwaukee; and hundreds of sites in Chicago, the North Shore, and western suburbs. This is in addition to a major distribution base in northwestern Indiana and western Michigan.

Lake is extremely supportive of its communities and the people within them. We celebrate the voice of the individuals and unique personalities of the Lake Michigan region. We have been involved with organizations as diverse as the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, Michigan; the Alliance for the Great Lakes in Chicago and Grand Haven, Michigan; Friends of the Chicago River in Chicago; Krasl Art Fair in Saint Joseph, Michigan; the nationally known Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan; the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival in Bridgman, Michigan; the Northern Indiana Arts Association in Munster, Hammond, and Crown Point, Indiana–to name a few!

Lake has a well-developed presence on the Web that, in addition to print-magazine content, includes a Lake Michigan webcam, a photo service, regional chefs’ recipes, and much more.

And Lake has developed an additional publication, Lake’s Luxurious Homes & Properties, now in its second year.

In reference to publisher Mike Peterson’s description of efforts to cultivate our brand: such efforts translate into developing a dynamic with a standard of excellence and expectations that help unite the staff and benefit the reader and advertiser. Lake is by no means a soulless corporate behemoth stamping out widgets. Far from it. In summary, when you have a good thing going, others will copy you. But that doesn’t mean the products are interchangeable.

Len R. Small

Chairman, Small Newspaper Group