Living Dinosaurs

Newspapers (the kind that get printed) are in trouble. They have been slow to react to the web and the loss of advertising revenue and subscribers. At this point, most of them are living dinosaurs. They either have to adapt or they will disappear.

What would you do if you owned a newspaper? I would like to hear some ideas. I can tell you what I would not do. I wouldn’t give people less. But, that is exactly what the papers are doing.

They have cut back on their news staff and they have cut back on news. Most of what I read in the paper I’ve already seen the day before online. Local stories are fewer all the time. The reporters who could be taking the papers into the world of the web have been “downsized.” Columns, features and the things that can set a local paper apart have also been cut.

Meanwhile, I personally have not been approached by a single newspaper to sign up for their online edition. I haven’t heard that my favorite columnists can now be found online. I haven’t seen any kind of promotion from papers telling their readers how easy and friendly it is to use their online edition. And, most online editions are nothing more than a regurgitation of the printed edition. They haven’t figured out that they could have a new online edition every hour – or as often as they like.

Don’t be a living dinosaur living on the brink of a tar pit waiting to fall or be pushed into it. Take a look around your business. Are you still doing things the way you always did? Are you cutting back and giving your customers less because things are tough right now? Or, are you thinking about how to use technology and extraordinary customer service to give people more?

Are you solving your clients’ problems? Doing so will keep you out of the tar pit.

2 thoughts on “Living Dinosaurs”

  1. If I owned a newspaper I’d return to return to the days when the newspaper in town was a important, LOCAL corporate citizen… sponsored the fireworks on the 4th of July, sponsored the local spelling bee, stepped up as a major donor in times of disaster, employees of the newspaper rolled up their sleeves with their fellow citizens to volunteer. Make the paper visable and PERSONAL in the community. Can’t get that warm and fuzzy from someone you don’t know writing an online report from whereabouts unknown.

  2. Great ideas, Joan. The old becomes new again. Could you also use the web, email and other technology to combine the old with the new? I think so. I think we can have the best of both worlds if we remember to focus on providing the highest value possible to our customers and clients.

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