People and Faces are the Keys to Success
I like the article from Mike Buffington, publisher of Mainstreet
Newspapers Inc., Jefferson, Ga. What he says is true, he gives all the reasons for the demise of the industry but what he forgets is that we are a print
I have watched over the years as papers have just floated along doing
nothing and wondering why their revenues are collapsing. Small town
newspapers actually have it easier to build revenue bases than the larger dailies because we do not have the competition of TV, radio and thousands of other media taking and fragmenting their ability to fight off the decline.
They, the larger papers, have seemed to forget the heart and soul of
the paper and that is still local news. They offer the national news, state
news but stray away from people news locally.
Hometown newspapers still can offer that by making sure the objective
is to put people and faces into the newspapers. This isn't rocket science but I
am constantly appalled at the lack of people pictures in the papers. Of
course people pics are the sports, check passing but it is much more than that and can be organizations taking action pictures of highway cleanup or races,
bike riding or just a free standing pic of a young child with ice cream all
over her face.
And on the printing side, what about starting a health magazine (number
one topic in America) or a dining guide to the area or a local tourist magazine
of unusual attractions? There are so many things you can do and have your
neighboring newspapers join in with the projects. Remember, we can be
friendly to our neighbors and not always trying to top one another.
Just some thoughts. Our group has started 4 magazines in the past two
years that have brought in over $100,000 dollars in new revenue. We do have a group but also we are five miles from the capital and the state paper sitting
right there, so the competition is pretty fierce for advertising dollars.
Hometown Newspaper LP is a group of 9 small weekly papers located
outside in Sun Prairie, right outside Madison, Wisconsin.