Michael Bennett: Budgeting goes hand in hand with content planPublished 10:48pm Wednesday, August 15, 2012
I’m back from a fantastic weeklong vacation visiting with my family back east, and have immediately been engulfed with budget preparation for Leader Publications’ fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
What does this have to do with you? Plenty. For those of you reading this in one of our print publications, traditional newspapers are an important part of your life.
There are three times more of you reading this online at www.leaderpub.com. The readers on our website are growing significantly faster than our print readers.
Part of our issue growing subscriptions has been our own doing. We have not been reaching out to gain new subscribers.
Last month, we started promoting subscriptions to some of the folks who dropped us in the past and had 52 sign up.
While I still get some complaints from longtime subscribers, the vast majority of feedback to recent changes we have made has been very positive and we are seeing an increase in readers of our print products.
When looking at our budget we are also developing a plan of what it is we expect to accomplish in the coming year.
That includes content planning both in print and online, new product development, community participation and both distribution and advertising sales and service.
Revenue dictates where we can invest to provide you with products that are compelling and do justice to the communities we serve. Is $500 a month better spent on national political cartoons or more local content? Do you think it is better to spend $3,600 a year on TV listings in our daily newspapers or use that money for local content?
From my perspective, local content is far more important although I know I will lose readers if we drop the expense of TV listings. You would not believe some of the hate mail we get. Our longtime readers are extremely passionate about their newspaper.
Our business is a strange one indeed. Leader Publications is here to serve the community almost in the manner of a non-profit organization, and at the same time, we are a business that has to be profitable.
Imagine a community without a solid local news gathering organization. Communities like ours would miss out not only on important local news, but also interesting features about everyday people.
The internet has its strengths, although guaranteed credibility isn’t one of them. We also provide good quality useful information edited and easily displayed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out and about and heard, “I didn’t know about that!” Well, it was in one our publications. Read us!
And, if nothing else, who really wants to lay down thousands of dollars to line their birdcage with iPads?
Tags: Michael Bennett