I often tell people to quit drinking the Kool-Aid and start reading things that challenge your way of thinking and how you run your news operation to see if you can grow from it.
So this link is none of that… This is my jam. This is just preaching to the choir for me. I couldn’t resist reading this and just nodding my head in agreement all the way to the end. We practice many of these things with Newton Now with its launch, including emphasizing graphics and art, unique distribution to get the word out, and using our online presence to sell print.
My favorite part of the commentary was the quote from Bill Ostendorf, president and founder of Creative Circle Media Solutions, who has created a step-by-step guide to making your print product better and profitable.
“First of all, all the papers that are digital-first…have been bankrupted at least once, some three or four times,” he said. “Every company that said ‘We’re going to emphasize digital over print,’—while it may be a great trick to sell to investors—clearly can’t make it work. The companies that have tried it have lost circulation much faster than the industry average.”
It hurts me that so many of my brothers and sisters have forgotten the gal who brought them to the party and ignore their print products.
Clearly there is room for growth digitally, but until there is a business model that doesn’t bankrupt distributing journalism, I think I will keep improving my print product and just playing in the online world for now.
Daily papers and folks like Jeff Bezos might have the funds to experiment and throw content online for free with no real monetary business model, but for community newspapers like the ones I own, I think we should let the big guys figure it out before we jump head first in a digital frenzy.
Please read this commentary and then actually do something with it. Improve your print product.