Swank versus Substance

I am now working on the sixteenth issue of Kallah Magazine, which is the 4th issue of the 4th year. During these 4 years I've seen numerous publications based in the area come and go. There were the the Home Pages, Ipages, The Advertiser, Post It, Talk of the Town (that only lasted for one issue), Queens Connections (which also distributed in the 5 Towns), not to mention Updates, that ceased about the time I began publishing and some Brooklyn based ones like Frum and Fit, or another two that did not cease to be but felt it necessary to reinvent themselves with new names. All of these magazines were started by people who wanted to make money and believed that advertising was an easy way to achieve that goal. There's nothing wrong with having that as a goal. But it seems that the goal alone is not enough to assure success, as all these magazines have ceased to be.

There have been some new publications that have at least made it through a year, and a new monthly that supports Chazaq. I wish them well. And now there is a new weekly that proclaimed itself in its first week: "Your #1 source for weekly listings in the 5 Towns." But for me the interesting thing is that this person who has been in the business for all of 2 weeks offers to take a piece of my business to add the "Wow factor" that he believes to be so strong in his publication. It is such a male swagger thing to seriously content that you know a business better to someone who has been doing it far, far longer than you have. I'm not saying my publication cannot be improved; anything can be improved. But we usually look to those with greater experience to point out improvements. Less than a month's experience hardly qualifies anyone as an expert.

I gently pointed out to him that if he paid the full rate card amount for the ad he placed for another business in the local paper, he really does not know how many publishers (the one in question included) deliberately raise their published rates so that they can lure people in with the promise of discounts on that rate. It works like this: he wants to sell this ad for $700, so he puts in the rate card a list price of $1000. Then he offers "a deal" to the prospective advertiser of 30% off. He may even be able to offer 50% off. So the macher advertiser feels like he won a great bargain while the publisher laughs in his sleeve about how easy it is to manipulate people. So this self-declared expert of selling advertising fell for paying the full price for his ad (for anotehr business) in the local paper. Wonder why someone with the "#1 weekly" would pay someone else top dollar to appear in his (not #1) weekly? The answer is obvious is you know the circulation figures and the recognition drawn by the publication titles.


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