Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Moving forward

One of the things a newspaper publisher does each morning is read a row of statistics:

What time did the press start last night? When did it stop? What time did the last copy of the newspaper leave the building? When did the last delivery truck return?
How many copies did we print in each of our three editons? How much paper did we use? What percentage of it was waste (papers we threw away because of poor print quality)? How many inches of advertising did we sell? What were the number of paid advertising inserts in the paper?

And in recent years, the statistical chart includes 21st century calculations:

How many pages were viewed on our Website yesterday? How many unique visitors to the site did we attract? (Yes, even how many people read this blog?)

As I've stated here and elsewhere, despite the pervasive gloom and doom that has surrounded newspapers large and small in our industry -- what with declining paid print circulation and advertising lineage prompting cuts in expenses, often meaning staff reductions -- more people are reading newspapers like ours than ever in our history.

I'll say that again: More people read the Freeman each day in 2008 than at any time since the newspaper was launched in 1871.

So, the message to employees is, check any long faces at the door. Our newspaper isn't rolling over and dying. Similarly to the community, some members of which greet me as if I'm presiding over my own funeral, snap out of it! We're not going anywhere but forward. We are planning for growth.

If you're an advertiser and you don't have a presence on our Website, you're missing the boat. Your customers are already there in increasing numbers. Between print and on-line, the Freeman is your marketplace.

Long faces need not apply.
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