We had unbelievable subscription support during last year’s government lockdown. At a time when local business advertising – the mainstay of community newspaper revenue – dwindled because so many local businesses were forced to close temporarily or permanently in some cases, our readers stepped up with their subscriptions to bridge the gap. Thank you!
Many of our long time readers know that twice a year we ask for support with a subscription. Most critically, subscriptions help us employ professional journalists who provide our readers rich, relevant, local content. Your subscription also helps offset rising costs, such as vehicles for delivery, health care costs for employees, and utilities so we can heat our workplace and keep the lights on. The cost of our raw materials is projected to go up 5-15% this year. Technology is an ever-changing, ongoing investment for every business and organization.
During the pandemic we had an all-time high of readers who subscribed. Though we suffered huge losses in our inserts (pre-printed advertising) revenue, we did not have any layoffs or cut hours of our staff. As we move into fall we need help to keep up our paid subscriptions and meet our goal to be sustainable. For all of the information you get throughout the year that you can’t find anywhere else, this is a good deal.
Interestingly, many of our newspaper colleagues have also seen increased support during the pandemic. The common thread was it was local news that has kept us informed. Perhaps especially in times of uncertainty, people simply appreciate knowing they can count on the local journalist who produce new local content. When you want to know what is going on in your community, we have your back.
With all that said, we are asking you our readers for support again with your hometown newspaper with a subscription. Why subscribe to something that you already get for free? Simply put, if no one subscribes, we can’t provide the product. We are among a few newspapers nationally utilizing the hybrid model of providing our product to everyone in the community who wants it and then asking for voluntary subscription. Most “free” papers have had to move to full subscription. If you are an online news junkie, you know most news outlets require a payment after a couple of page views or to access the stories you really want to read. Paying for unique locally written content that is created by the hard working full time staff at our newspapers is needed.
If in the past few weeks you have read something in this paper that was beneficial to your family or life in our community, I am asking you to subscribe today. Fill out the envelope or flyer that is in our newspaper, subscribe online at presspubs.com, or call our office at 651-407-1200. With your support you will receive full on line access, a coupon sheet for great deals at local businesses and will also be entered into a drawing for $250 in local gift cards.
Thank you to our supporters who have been with us through the ups and downs. Thank you to our subscribers who help us continue providing local news to our great communities.
Notes of Thanks
A call came in this week from a reader who wanted to thank our reporter for the detailed coverage of a city council meeting. I thanked her for taking the time to call. We get a lot of positive feedback from readers, but often people who take the time to call do it because they are upset about something. It is wonderful to know when someone appreciated and benefits from our coverage of local meetings and events. Our staff gets beat up at times with criticism; it’s great to get the compliments, too.
We find ourselves in the midst of election season and many hot topics are being debated through letters to the editor. As readers in the community share their opinions through the forum provided by our editorial pages, I ask you to be civil. We can have passionate disagreements but there are lines that should not to be crossed.
Occasionally we suggest readers make a few changes to ensure letters meet our guidelines. Very rarely we hold a letter, and the only reason we would do that is if it clearly does not meet our guidelines. We are essentially following the same guidelines censor letters to the editor simply because our team disagrees with the opinion or those we find distasteful. However, in these times and especially during the election, letters that are increasingly nasty. We want readers to engage in dialogue about important topics through our opinion pages, but please, do it with some civility.
Carter Johnson is publisher of Press Publications.