Edmonds Beacon subscription model begins Feb. 4
In print or online, we remain your go-to source for local news that matters
Last updated 1/28/2021 at 11:20am
As the old saying goes, "Time flies when you're having fun."
Nobody, of course, would likely argue that the last three months have been much fun. Coronavirus, the presidential election, the Capitol insurrection and the ensuing national imbroglio have been exhausting.
Nevertheless, the weeks have flown by and, just as we announced at the beginning of November, The Beacon next week is converting from a free newspaper to subscription.
Readers have been incredibly supportive. Many took advantage of our offer to provide immediate 24/7 website access for signing up early, and our subscription drive has been strong.
Beginning next week, subscribers will receive their newspaper in their mailbox, rather than by carrier or by picking it up around town.
As we explained, the old business model of relying solely on advertising revenue to fund our operation is no longer sustainable. Google, Facebook and other social media have sucked up many of those advertising dollars.
Fortunately, advertisers are beginning to come back; businesses and readers alike are weary of the constant conflict and misinformation overload that social media offer.
But we'll have to be patient until we can put the pandemic behind us, and business can get back to normal. Even then, we know the media landscape has changed so much that we'll not be able to return to the free newspaper model.
Even while our initial subscription drive wraps up, we're just beginning to launch our business membership drive. What's that, you ask? Basically, we are talking with potential partners in the business community who would be willing to buy your subscription for you. It could happen in one of two ways.
In one, a business with lots of foot traffic, such as a restaurant where you're used to picking up a copy of The Beacon, would buy a business membership where we would deliver a stack of newspapers that they could then offer their customers free of charge. That way, they would continue to attract faithful customers, and readers who haven't subscribed will be able to find The Beacon.
In the second, a business that doesn't have a lot of foot traffic – say an insurance agency, for example – would buy a number of subscriptions at a reduced rate, then give us a list of their customers they want us to mail The Beacon to. The mailing label would tell those readers that their complimentary subscription was being sent to them courtesy of that business.
In both cases, the business member also would receive advertising space in the newspaper and on our website, with additional advertising offered at a discount.
We think it's an incredible opportunity for businesses to show their support for their community newspaper and to earn much goodwill from readers along with customer loyalty. A win-win-win all around.
Still, people who are used to seeing The Beacon everywhere will find that's no longer the case. It will be available only at select locations.
But we're not going away. In a real sense, The Beacon will still be everywhere. That's because so many readers have been moving toward online access.
We still have thousands of faithful newspaper readers, and our new business model is designed to accommodate their preference. But growth over the past couple of decades has been largely online. That's why we're calling our new model "digital first." We're now averaging about 20,000 unique visitors every week on The Beacon websites.
Digital first means that we're embracing the trend that started years ago with the confluence of the internet and smartphones. Although younger generations are considered more "tech savvy" than older people, almost everyone these days has a smartphone in their pocket or purse. Young people, especially, feel all-but-naked if they don't have their phone handy.
Our newsroom has been hard at work putting up fresh content daily. That way, when you want the latest information about what's going on in your community, The Beacon has you covered.
As regular readers know, we've also been asking you what you want in a community newspaper. Through online focus group sessions and hundreds of reader surveys, we have gathered valuable data that's helping us better tailor our news to meet reader demand.
Yes, the model has changed. But our promise to remain your most trusted source of accurate, reliable community news has not. If you haven't subscribed yet, I hope you'll take this opportunity to sign up today so you won't miss a single edition of The Beacon.
That way you'll remain the most informed members of your community. An informed citizenry opens up positive dialogue and helps create sustainable relationships within the community.
To subscribe, simply fill out the form in this newspaper and mail it in, or go online to sign up at http://www.edmondsbeacon.com/subscribe or, easiest of all, call us at 425-347-5634, and we'll sign you up.
Thank you for your support.