Five Firsts With McKenna Brooks, Editor of The Scout Guide Cincinnati

Photography by Ross Van Pelt.

We’re always hoping to make a good first impression, and that first-time readers of The Scout Guide will put the publication down feeling inspired to learn more about the featured businesses—and, if they’re out-of-towners, to seek out (or start) a guide in their own hometown. In this series, we talk to our editors about their TSG “firsts,” from their first encounter with The Scout Guide to the first business they approach to be in the guide and more. Read on to learn about how The Scout Guide Cincinnati editor McKenna Brooks discovered the brand, and what it was like to launch her first volume. 

When did you first discover The Scout Guide?

I first discovered The Scout Guide in 2016 from a friend, Lisa Hoberg, who was the editor and owner of The Scout Guide Cincinnati at the time. I couldn’t believe how cool her “job” was, to get to know the Cincinnati small business community and build them up by supporting them in a beautiful print guide, online, and on social media. 

What made you decide to become an editor? 

I’d been working in various marketing, branding, and sales roles for many large companies around the U.S., and was intrigued by the idea of working with people who have true passion for what they do, and own their own businesses. When Lisa’s family relocated to Texas, I was introduced to the idea of purchasing the business, and I never looked back! I love the flexibility in the role that I have to raise my two kids (and two furry pups). 

Tell us about the first business you approached to be in the guide. 

When I purchased The Scout Guide Cincinnati, volume two was already in circulation. I worked hard to get to know the business owners and support them in any way possible. One of my first meetings was with Karen Rolfes, an extremely talented artist in Madeira, and Karen couldn’t have been more supportive of my efforts, and helping me get off the ground in my new role.

“I love seeing clients support one another, and we all grow together.”

What was it like to launch your first volume? 

My first volume, The Scout Guide Cincinnati, Volume 3, launched in December 2018. It had been a great year of getting to know existing businesses who had been in TSG, but also expanding the community to include more types of businesses, across a broader area of town. I quickly learned that my favorite part of being the editor of this business is the connections I can help my clients make with one another. This comes through hosting events, and I love seeing clients support one another, and we all grow together! 

What’s the first thing you would tell a prospective editor? 

Being the editor of TSG is more than meets the eye! It’s a relationship business, and if you build strong relationships with your community and the businesses within it, you’ll be successful in helping them all grow. You’re successful only when your clients and small businesses are successful. I’d recommend building your community and your guide based on what your city needs and wants; each city is so different, and listening to your followers and business community will help you identify exactly what sort of guide your city needs.

To learn more about McKenna and The Scout Guide in her area, follow The Scout Guide Cincinnati on Instagram. Learn more about starting The Scout Guide in your city here.