With apologies to the California Milk Processor Board — Got Blood? This is a question that might be top of mind for vampires this Halloween weekend as the veil thins and, hopefully, the veins open.
Those fanged followers in San Francisco are particularly in luck according to a recent analysis by the fine folks at Lawn Love—the city by the bay is among the researcher’s “Best and Worst Cities for Vampires.”
Their criteria for ranking metro centers was simple: “cities with plenty of warm bodies, blood centers, and vampire-friendly dwellings (a.k.a., casket suppliers and homes with basements).” They also tallied “deterrents like garlic festivals and sunshine, as well as community and entertainment factors, such as vampire groups, nightlife options, and vampire tours.”
In terms of ranking, San Francisco is fifth behind New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, in that order, which I attribute to our relative lack of basements (it’s earthquake country after all) and a relatively low ebb—at least in recent years—of nightlife. That said, it does have plenty of blood centers and, wait for it…vampire groups.
“San Francisco (No. 5) follows closely behind in tours (No. 2), thanks to the historically scary Nob Hill neighborhood. The Golden City also has plenty of blood centers, vampire groups, and nightlife options to balance out the sunshine and herb shops. Sunny Los Angeles (No. 4) impresses with the highest number of vampire-friendly nightclubs, in addition to the second highest population and numerous slaughterhouses, casket suppliers, and vampire groups.”
Impressed as I am with San Francisco’s vampire ranking, I’m more impressed with Lawn Love’s commitment to creating its deep dive infotainments (an earlier piece on zombies aligns with their occasional undead theme). I had questions and Lawn Love’s managing editor Sharon Sullivan had answers.
Daedalus Howell: Lawn Love’s content marketing strategy is among the most entertaining and, dare I say, informative I’ve encountered (especially when it comes to vampires, zombies, etc.). What was your inspiration to shepherd Lawn Love’s deep dives into cultural esoterica as means of driving interest in finding world-class lawn care services?
Sharon Sullivan: Thank you! We initially considered ranking cities exclusively on outdoor topics. However, we quickly realized we have access to an enormous wealth of data — whether or not related to the outdoors, particularly lawns, which is not the most alluring — so we just figured why not? We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the success of our non-outdoors-related studies. We’ve tested many different topics, and the “cultural esoterica” seems to stick best. It’s a testament to Americans’ love for listicles and rankings. They’re fun and often informative, as you’ve pointed out.
DH: At first glance, I would imagine that some might not readily connect the dots between the undead and conventional lawn care topics like, say, stump grinding but I suspect that’s ultimately not the point. Can you reveal a bit of the rationale at work here and what the creative process is for creating such richly researched pieces that are probably as much fun to write as read?
SS: Not to be morbid, but since we’re on the topic of the undead, it’s safe to say you’ve hit the nail on the head. Not all the topics we pursue have a connection to our industry or brand. We tend to look for timely topics — in this case, the national blood shortage and Halloween. We love to inform and engage our audiences, but when we can, we want to help raise awareness on serious issues, too. Every week, we put our heads together to discuss new topics and the most relevant factors on which to rank cities. It’s a fun collaboration among our team members. Everyone comes from a different background, so our discussions always result in richly designed methodologies.
DH: You’ve assembled a top-tier group of contributors — what’s your process for attracting and recruiting talent?
SS: We use traditional methods of attracting talent: posting ads on job boards and recruiting from within our own professional networks. We strive to create an excellent professional environment for our writers and give them opportunities to learn new skills that will help them succeed beyond their roles at Lawn Love. A-players will know other A-players, so we often receive referrals from our team. Happy writers beget other great talents, in other words. We’re always looking for new, talented writers!
Another version of this article was published in The Bohemian.