The web is all about transparency (dirty secrets), so here you go. I’m standing up.
“My name is Jo.” (Now you say, “Hi Jo.”)
“On Sunday I signed up for a subscription to the print version of The Denver Post.”
I’ll wait if you need to read that again, because I realise that coming from me … it’s hard to comprehend.
Background (excuse): I was at my local fine grocery outlet, King Soopers, and as usual on Sundays, there was a guy giving out free papers and asking people if they’d like to subscribe to a masthead on a dead tree. I usually ignore this guy, because the only value in a tangible paper-based newspaper is the coupons, and one of my friends religiously saves her coupons from her newspaper because she doesn’t use them, and gives them to me. Ergo no need for coupons, no need for the newspaper. Usually.
Occasionally I’ll buy the Sunday paper if there are a good number of coupons that week, so I can double up. I figure it’s worth the $1.50 to get over $300 of coupons. (Of which I’d use at least $20 or $30 worth.) I also do electronic coupons, but they are usually different.
Because of social media, I knew there were quite a few great coupons in Sunday’s paper – so on the spot I decided to put up with the guy’s spiel, so I could get a free paper rather than fork out the $1.50.
Local news is really important
He started with a pitch on a full subscription. I dodged that by telling him I never read the paper during the week (which is true – I read it online because I feel an obligation to. It’s kind of like maybe they’ll throw me out of Colorado if I don’t read their local news. Oh and there’s that whole j-school factor where they bring up something in the news in classes and I’m all, ‘well in Australia we’re worried about the internet being filtered – is that what you mean?’ I realise I kinda need to know that Governor Ritter can’t ride a bike without breaking a few ribs but it’s all okay because he’s getting better. That seems to be key here.).
The subscription pusher instantly changed to the pitch for weekends only. I was ready to throw in another excuse as soon as he took breath. “You can get home delivery of the Saturday and Sunday Denver Post, for just $3 a month.”
Three bucks. A month. (My mouth fell open but words did not come out. Which is kind of epic.)
A month-to-month subscription, cancelling at any time.
Here’s the sweetener
Not only that, he was giving away a $5 King Soopers card “if you do it right now.”
So I signed up. I really did. I made a committment to killing more trees in the name of (coupons) old school news formats. And hereby I am a proud linchpin to saving newspapers in print. All you traditional print journalists can add me to your Christmas card list.
As long as they keep having coupons, and the price stays the same, I’ll keep my subscription. A cynic would say that’s not a long-term commitment. But I have faith (stop snorting).
So that’s how I’m saving the print newspaper industry. You have my $3 a month. Retire well.