In the Fall 2015 Print IssueAug 31, 2015 10:08PM ● By Erica Shames
One of the benefits of a small operation is the many hats I am privileged to wear, including processing subscription renewals. Some might look down on the task, and classify it as a waste of time for a magazine publisher. Yet seemingly menial tasks like this one can be revealing: how else could I know of the many people who have subscribed to Susquehanna Life magazine from the beginning, in 1993?
It’s gratifying to see that level of commitment and interest on the part of our readers. And it’s one of the attributes that makes publishing Susquehanna Life magazine so rewarding. Even in an age when some predict the death of print.
There is no doubt many print vehicles have succumbed, and more are on their way—especially general interest and news publications. But that doesn’t apply to all print media. In fact, Locable.com president and CEO Brian Ostrovsky put it best when he said, “Print is not dying, but the print businesses that don’t evolve will die.” But that’s a topic for another day.
Fact is, there is compelling evidence that specialty or “niche” titles—a regional magazine like Susquehanna Life, for example—are doing just fine and continue to be important, particularly for niche brand advertising.
According to MediaLifeMagazine.com, a trade publication for media buyers: “Unlike [magazines] which target a broad swath of people with general news and advice that’s widely available online, niche titles offer information that’s not commonly found elsewhere. They also tend to enjoy stronger reader loyalties” (italics mine).
Every two years we undertake a reader survey to determine who reads the magazine and why, and how the information in each issue is used. This is helpful for our editorial team, and for our advertisers—for whom it’s important to know Susquehanna Life magazine attracts the strong reader connection and involvement so essential to successful advertising.
Past surveys have yielded some compelling statistics, including: 77 percent of our readers purchase (a good or service from or attend an event of) an advertiser.
And confirmation that Susquehanna Life articles hit their mark is revealed in the numerous reader comments that state, “I’ve lived here all my life and I never knew that until I read it in Susquehanna Life magazine.”
We’re smack in the middle of a reader survey right now. If you have not yet received a survey, and feel compelled to tell us your thoughts and reading and buying habits, contact me to request one: we’d love to hear what you have to say.
Erica L. Shames
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