Tricounty News

I love ads ... and advertisers!

In the "olden days" when we had three network channels on television, and when younger children often were the remote control, advertisements were an annoyance during your favorite TV show. Print ads were ignored on the way to what we really wanted to read.

Now that I'm in the newspaper business, I see ads in a whole new light.

Ads are good indicators of the health of a company. Those businesses who advertise regularly and well, are viewed as strong and vibrant. Bad ads reflect poorly on a business. Even worse, though, the lack of an ad where one is expected makes readers wonder: is that business doing okay, or is it even still in business?

I can't think of any family, business, or community that has not been significantly impacted by the national and regional economy in past years. The newspaper business is no exception, and advertising revenues everywhere have taken a big hit. Some former advertisers are out of business, others have slowed down or stopped advertising.

This can be especially hurtful to small businesses, including ours. While subscriptions pay much of the cost of mailing the newspaper, it is advertising that pays to create appealing ads, type and proofread content, take and edit photos, and lay out all these pieces each week in an attractive and sensible way. It is advertising money, literally selling space in the newspaper each week, that pays for lights, heat, software, and all the other regular expenses. And advertisers pay for full color, when we have it.

This is why we are truly grateful each week, and each month with special issues, for our advertisers - each and every one of them.

Even more, though, we're happy that they understand the value of advertising in general, and advertising in their own community in particular.

Over the years we've noticed that some people think that organizations or schools pay us to put photos and stories in the paper. Nope. All the sports news (and fantastic photos), school news and accomplishments, business briefs, benefit announcements, class reunion and other community notices, are all run at no cost to those who submit them. We (and our advertisers) pay the cost of producing and printing that material.

Here's another way to look at it: without our advertisers, your annual subscription to the Tri-County News would be closer to $150 instead of $30.

My point is two-fold: I hope you'll (1) take note of our advertisers each week, and thank them when you can for supporting what you're interested in seeing in the paper, and (2) view ads in a new light. They're a necessary - and desired - part of the newspaper!