We spend a lot of time in this business analyzing subscription numbers, ad revenues and trends. I miss the days when my job was about words and pictures and not complicated math. Crazy how much my business has changed in the decade plus I’ve called it my profession.
I hate talking that way, but I can’t avoid the reality.
Technology and short attention spans have changed the way newspapers operate. You can no longer solely focus on households reached with your print product. Need those clicks, shares and interactions in this digital world.
I really do embrace this part of the job, wish there was more time to do more.
Making this newspaper matter in your life is important to us. That means upping The Citizen’s profile and increasing its visibility. I just want to find a way to showcase the value of a product, which we like to believe is very quality for the price and provides news that matters to Platte County residents, and have that translate into actual dollars.
We think about this a lot. Like a lot a lot.
So I’m asking you to help me out. Let me know what you enjoy about our coverage; tell me what I can do better.
If I could, I’d assign all of you reading this homework. Your task would be to email me or shoot me a tweet or whatever. Give me some feedback.
My email is always at the end of this column, but I’ll put it right here, too: email@example.com. Or write us and mail it in the old-fashioned way to PO Box 888 in Platte City.
Generally, I only hear from people when we make an egregious error or someone vehemently disagrees with an opinion.
And that’s fine.
But I can’t always glean what those readers want me to do with that information. The conversation isn’t always — how to put it ... constructive.
What I’m trying to say is we need you, the readers.
If I could get every Twitter follower and every person that likes our paper on Facebook to understand the impact of also subscribing to the print edition? Well, that might be enough to get me a raise.
I don’t mind if you enjoy reading our product online. I don’t want to take that away from you, and I have no desire for our simple operation to charge you for access.
Just take us with you in all forms, including the print product.
Call us up at 858-5154 and let us mail you a copy each week. There are certain aspects of our coverage you can’t get online that I think you will appreciate.
I don’t care if this comes off as begging. I’m way beyond worrying about that part of my image.
Despite all the changes and frustrations, I still love this business. It’s part of the reason I’ve stayed so long when others have (probably for good reason) fled to other better paying professions.
I want to know why you are reading this column right now. I want to know what makes you a subscriber to this paper. What do you enjoy? What do you want more of? What do you want less of?
If my email box ends up flooded, I’ll be overjoyed, even if my ego takes a little hit in the process. I want words to go through that can help me figure out the math of running this paper.
Suggestions within reason could help enhance this product. You might have a thought that 100 other readers have, as well, but I can’t fix it if I don’t know about it.
I make entirely too many decisions about what goes in this paper each week. Really, the readers should be the one dictating the content, so all of you can be my boss for the week, if you choose to accept this assignment.
I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Hope to hear from you soon.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.