President and Publisher, St. Cloud Times
St. Cloud, MN
This may be different from other answers you’ve gotten, but one of the first ways I found out how powerful the newspaper was – was actually by an error.
I don’t remember the exact details, but it was a price [that] was wrong in an ad. And when you get the call from the customer that says – I don’t remember the exact number – but it was a large number for our-size paper of people who came in wanting that offer. Then I went, “Whoa! And this is just how many people? And this is for an ad.”
I knew people read ads, but it’s kind of funny that in a way that it’s through errors that you find out how powerful it is.
Now, as of late, it’s being out in the community and having people tell me flat out – and a lot of times it’s if they want us to get on their side say on an opinion stand point – saying things like, “Whatever you say will go a long way,” or they will say things to me like, “You need to realize how powerful your newspaper is and valuable to this community.”
I’ve had many, many eye openers the last five months because, again, I knew it – I knew it from an ad standpoint, and I knew it from a success standpoint – when you go into a customer, and they bought a $500 ad and they sold $20,000 worth of whatever it was – and they’re so excited, and they can’t wait to run it again – you know the power of it. But just for me, personally, that’s been how I’ve experienced it
And also when you see how – from a watchdog standpoint – when something that may not seem right and it’s allowed to go on until it’s brought to the light of day by the newspaper I work for, and then all of a sudden quickly things change and are taken care of. Those are times too when you know how powerful, I guess, and valuable we are.