By Neena Strichart
We’ve had quite a year. Business has been up and down and we’ve done our best to keep our heads above water. Although our advertising revenue has dropped because of the economic climate, most local small businesses have continued to place ads with us because they know their money will be well spent. Our paper is well read and our customers tell us that advertising with us really works. We know that– but it’s nice to hear that they realize it too.
Our biggest problem seems to lie with medium and large businesses, as well as some government and quasi-government agencies– they are the folks looking for free rides. These are the people who continue to send dozens of emailed press releases each and every month– yet when asked about advertising they quickly reply that Signal Tribune is not in their budgets. I wonder how it is that they value us for free publicity, yet do not value us when it comes to spending dollars. We are not a pay-for-play type of paper, yet when pencil is put to paper, my math shows that at our paper small business carry the bill for the bigger guys.
Who pays our bills? The tiniest of businesses, that’s who, and when the big guys do advertise they take forever to pay. Just imagine holding off on paying your bill to the phone or cable company or your hospital bills. Those guys would sure be quick to cut you off or send you to collections– yet, when like agencies owe us, they just keep ignoring our calls, second notices and other pleas for payment. Well, the party is over– it’s a new year– and a new policy is in force. We need to be paid in a timely fashion.
Also, I’ve had enough of giving away valuable space for unrequited publicity. There is a big difference between a news release and a shameless plug. We’re happy to run newsy press releases, but publicity seekers need to pay for advertising.
We love what we do, and our readers and loyal advertisers seem to appreciate us. Those who have taken our generosity of time and editorial space for granted need to find their ink somewhere else in 2009.
Best wishes to our supporters and may we all have a prosperous New Year!