Surrounded by posters of Chris Bosh, Lenny Kravitz and Elle Macpherson on past covers of Ocean Drive, 10 kids staying at the Miami Bridge shelter checked out the offices of the hottest magazine in Miami.
OneWorld Properties CEO Peggy Fucci co-hosted the August tour with Ocean Drive Publisher Courtland Lantaff, Associate Publisher Michele Addison, Editor-in-Chief Jared Shapiro and other magazine staffers.
The visit gave the middle and high schoolers ages 12 to 17 a chance to see opportunities beyond the streets and family troubles. Miami Bridge (miamibridge.org) shelters and counsels abused, neglected and abandoned youth.
Ocean Drive publishes 10 times a year. The team includes salespeople, writers, graphic artists, photographers, lighting people, makeup artists and hair stylists.
Courtland said passion is the most important quality he looks for in a potential employee.
“I can teach someone the job but I can’t teach someone passion,” he said.
Peggy encouraged the kids to make themselves stand out.
Michele agreed. “Be confident and go after what you want,” she said. “Nothing is unreachable.”
The group got the inside scoop on which celebrity will grace the cover of the October issue. (It’s Dwyane Wade! Shhh.)
They learned months go into planning an issue – scheduling the cover photo shoot and interview; writing, editing and fact-checking stories; selling advertisements.
A single ad in the magazine costs a business $5,000 to $20,000.
“People are giving us that kind of money to expose their product to the right audience,” Courtland said.
Ocean Drive distributes 30,000-40,000 magazines to 930 Miami locations, including hotels, restaurants, stores, spas and coffee shops.
Launched in 1992, the magazine’s first issue was published in 1993.
Michele, who has worked at the magazine since the beginning, recalled getting the word out.
“We had women on rollerblades passing out the magazine on Ocean Drive,” she said.
Now, the magazine hosts an average of six events a month including cover parties. Ocean Drive features celebrities with Miami connections including Pitbull and Giancarlo Stanton.
“Because the brand is so strong, we’re able to go to these people and work with them,” Jared said.
The magazine shows the Miami lifestyle including fashion, food and real estate.
Courtland says the publication tells positive stories. “We do go out and do try to show what the best of the community is,” he said. “We’re trying to show what’s good about Miami.”
Ocean Drive staff treated the group to lunch at The Tavern at Hotel Craydon on Miami Beach.
Each child got a copy of the magazine and Ocean Drive shades to remember the experience.
At least one girl planned to return.
“When I get famous,” she said, “I want to be on the cover.”