Small change, long-term improvements

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Over the next two weeks, we will be working with the US Postal Service throughout Northern New York and Vermont to further improve the delivery of your free community newspaper.

While many paid publications explore ways to increase charges due to declining circulation numbers, we look for ways to improve and expand the delivery of our free newspapers.

Over the last year, we’ve significantly improved our websites, added free mobile apps and enhanced our use of social media. In 2014, we will be looking to optimize the postal delivery of our printed publications.

We believe the delivery of your free newspapers, while very expensive, is critically important to the service we provide to both our readers and advertisers. Without a proven and reliable delivery system, the best analogy I can think of would be the same as the days of video rental stores compared to the online video streaming of today. Delivery of the news, features and advertisements to our customers in the method most favored by them is a big part of our overall mission as a local business.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve been participating in annual readership surveys conducted by our state newspaper associations. Our most recent survey concluded that after speaking with over 700 local readers, 98.9 percent of them received the paper and 81.3 percent consider themselves regular readers.

To that end, we recognize the dollars spent each week to print and deliver the paper to those homes that are not regular readers could be better spent increasing our services for those who do read the paper or for keeping a lid on our advertising rates, therefore easing the load on our customers who pay for everything that we do.

With that in mind, we will begin individually addressing every paper we mail over the next few weeks, a change that will allow us the ability, over time, to remove those homes that do not want the printed copy, whether be those who prefer to enjoy our online editions or homes and businesses that end up being duplicated due to our total market saturation delivery method.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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