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Times supports community in new, varied ways
The Arlington Times and Marysville Globe are aiming to re-establish their positions as “the heart and soul” of their communities, according to publisher DeAnna Emborski, and to that end, both newspapers have started subscription drives that are designed to benefit their surrounding communities.
Emborski is speaking to representatives of the Marysville, Arlington and Lakewood school districts about plans to allocate 20 percent of each paid subscription to the school districts of their subscribers to offset the impact of state and federal budget cuts on local schools. Paid subscriptions are now being offered at a reduced flat rate of $29.95 per year, for mail and delivery subscriptions, and $45 for a two-year subscription. Pending approval from the districts’ boards, Sound Publishing will present checks to the school districts on a quarterly basis.
“Just as an example, Marysville has roughly 25,000 residents and our goal is to get at least 51 percent of them, or about 12,750 of them, subscribing to The Globe,” Emborski said. “Even if they’re only one-year subscriptions, that would still mean that $6 of every subscription would go to the schools. That’s more than $75,000, and that can make a dramatic impact, when several areas of the schools’ budgets are in jeopardy of being reduced or cut.”
Subscriptions can now also support community organizations. Emborski explained that any group which “pounds the pavement” to sell subscriptions into either newspaper can earn $10 of every one-year subscription that they sell to go toward their organization or cause.
“We recognize that it can be difficult to raise funds in these challenging economic times,” Emborski said. “This really represents a win/win for both the community and the newspaper, because generating more readers for the paper gives businesses a strong avenue to advertise in, and it allows readers themselves to invest in their community while receiving a great product. We’re committed to do our part to supporting our communities.”
Emborski noted that we plan to make this subscription drive an annual event, and added that its funds might go toward other causes in the community in the future, depending upon need.
Looking to the newspapers’ Web sites, Emborski encouraged readers of The Marysville Globe and The Arlington Times to take advantage of both papers’ Internet resources, which now include online coupons, for local and national stores. The coupons allow shoppers to print out only the coupons that they need, thereby making them environmentally friendly, while also allowing advertisers to track how many readers are using their coupons.
Online monthly contests for photos, videos and poster designs are being incorporated into the newspapers’ Web sites to make them a more interactive experience. Emborski pointed out that traffic for the sites has been increasing steady between 3 percent to 5 percent every month, for the past four to five months, in part because the sites now feature daily updates of stories, including breaking news stories about real-time events, and online videos and photo slidshows associated with certain stories. An online community calendar feature now allows community members to post their own events on the papers’ sites, while the Pictopia section of the sites allows viewers to purchase their favorite photos from news and sports stories, which can be reprinted on T-shirts and coffee mugs.
“There’s only a 30 percent crossover between Web site viewers and the people who read the print editions of newspapers, so in many ways, we serve two separate audiences,” Emborski said. “At the same time, because the newspaper and the Web site won’t completely mirror each other, we encourage people to check out both to see what they might be missing.”
Emborski touted the papers’ shared staff, which she praised for producing award-winning work in spite of its small size.
“We would not be offering these programs if we did not have talented individuals of the caliber of our staff,” Emborski said. “I have to be 100 percent confident that they can pull this together, our small core of folks produce as though they’re a staff of 100. I’m always surprised by what we can do with the number of people that we have.”