Delivery changesWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Content and relevancy are clearly paramount factors in any publication’s success, but delivery will always be the most important hurdle to clear. Marco’s can make the best pizzas in the world, but that effort is wasted if they fail to deliver a fresh, hot pie to the customer.
When we partnered with Targeted Delivery Systems in January and expanded our circulation to reach 150,000 single-family homes, we knew there would be a few weeks of adjustments and bumps. But the weeks have stretched into months, and the inconsistent delivery of their weekly bag, which included our newspaper, frustrated some readers. TDS’ biggest client, the Kroger Co., decided not to wait any longer for TDS to fix its problems and left the TDS service. TDS told its employees it would quit the Toledo market, leaving us with some major decisions and very little reaction time.
Our course of action was never in doubt. We have taken responsibility for our own delivery, and we are continuing to work with such major partners as
Menard’s to continue to reach more households in Lucas County than any other Sunday newspaper, by a very wide margin. We have hired a circulation manager, Charles Campos, who has assembled a more efficient delivery team, and we will now have direct control over making sure our product reaches your driveway (in a new, yellow, rain-proof bag) while it is fresh.
Part of this process involves “ZIP code purity.” Areas in which TDS offered minor penetration have been dropped, and delivery to full ZIP code penetration has been bolstered. Readers may always find Toledo Free Press in Meijer stores, BP/Barney’s locations, Big Boy restaurants, both Churchill’s Markets, libraries and more than 500 other area locations; a more extensive list may be found at www.toledofreepress.com.
This business is a marathon, not a sprint. We may knock over a few hurdles in our initial efforts, but the long-term impact will be a stronger, more accountable, more profitable system of delivery. That benefits our readers and advertisers in the long run.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com.