I wanted to reach out today to update you on some new content distribution changes we have recently instituted.
It’s no secret there are major changes taking place, seemingly daily, in the media world and newspaper publishing industry is no exception. It’s impossible to stay ahead of the technology curve, but we are doing our best to become a diversified media entity.
We firmly believe in the role of a community newspaper and its purpose is verified each and every Friday when we record a minimal return rate (the actual copies of the newspaper that are picked up each Friday from the previous week). This shows the demand is there for our product.
We have recently turned to providing new and daily ways to disseminate our news content, and here’s a look at some of the changes we have recently instituted to meet our goal.
Beginning two weeks ago, we have been sending out daily articles through email. We call it the Daily Buzz. These are original articles from our staff members. They do not come from wire services or any other outlet. They are sent daily to our 2,000-subscriber database, which grows daily. You can register for the Daily Buzz at www.mdcoastdispatch.com.
This week we sent out articles on Ocean City’s cardboard recycling proposal to save money (Monday); the 4-3 vote to approve horseback riding on the beach (Tuesday, the morning after the council meeting); the hike in fees for paid parking (Wednesday); and the new sponsor organization that will now handle foreign student workers (Thursday, just hours after an interview with its director).
Previously, we were using the Daily Buzz emails to simply provide a tease of the news that was coming out on Friday. We would cut an original 800-word article down to 150 words and pen something at the end of the article saying see the full story on Friday.
That’s no longer the case. We are now sending out the entire article in a timely and convenient email format days before it ever makes it to print. The articles we send out through Daily Buzz are the articles that appear in the paper, just a few days earlier and fresher.
Additionally, all of these articles will also be posted to our website and designated as new articles from the previous week.
Two years ago, we began offering an online E-dition, which makes the entire newspaper available in an online format for those who cannot get the hardcopy publication.
We have recently changed the format of our E-dition, which can be viewed from our website starting every Friday. It can also easily be viewed on mobile devices, such as iPads and iPhones.
It’s a free service that allows for easy navigation through every page of the newspaper. Additionally, for those advertisers who include their websites in their ads, viewers can click on the ads and be directed straight to the advertiser’s website.
Like most businesses, we utilize Facebook, too. It’s a marketing tool, obviously, but we view it as a means to disseminate information that’s germane to consumers.
Unlike the Daily Buzz email, we utilize the social network to link stories from our website as well as posting unique situations, such as the police department seeking information on an ongoing investigation. Additionally, we use Facebook to upload unique photos, such as a recent whale swimming off the coast that garnered 47 likes, 30 shares and 20 comments in a matter of a couple hours.
All of these are organized together to do what we think we do best — generate interesting content. We will always do that, but now with a renewed focus on providing it in a timely fashion. We hope you enjoy the new changes.
J. Steven Green