Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Listening to Customers Is Good for Business

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Listening to Customers Is Good for Business

Article excerpt

Listen to your customers even if you think they may be wrong, says Phillip Reid, the Weatherford (Okla.) Daily News publisher who started a niche weekly for outlying communities to satisfy his advertisers.

"They had been telling us they were getting 60 to 75% of their shoppers from out of town and they needed to advertise there," Reid recalled at a conference recently.

"Actually, we have motor routes and carrier delivery of the Daily News in those other towns, but the advertisers thought that wasn't enough."

So the Daily News, circulation 5,133, launched the Tri-Counties Gazette, named Robin Hoffman as editor, and distributed the free paper to readers in Beckham, Caddo and Custer counties. Weatherford, the largest town in Custer County, has a population of about 11,000.

Besides advertising, the Gazette runs what Reid calls "a lot of chicken-dinner news," which Hoffman, who doubles as a photographer, gathers herself. Ads are sold by the Daily News sales staff.

For years, Reid said, the Daily News had urged merchants to spend in the local market where it's much more cost effective. …

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