The Bottom Line Story Content & Advertising
Posted: January 25, 2013
I am guilty of having to remind myself that not everyone who reads The Bottom Line understands the difference between story content and advertising. Personally, I think many small business owners are like me when they have to remember that some people don't really know what we do and how we operate.
I receive calls about once a month inquiring how much it costs to have a story printed in The Bottom Line. I try not to get upset or disappointed that other employers don't realize that it doesn't cost anything to have an article in my weekly business publication. But it's a good reminder that it never hurts to explain how the business publication works.
If a business is planning to expand and/or relocate its operations, adding a new product/service, expanding its sales/service territory or hiring a new salesperson or manager, I will print that information at no charge. I often remind individuals who are starting a new business that The Bottom Line is the best way to get free publicity and let more than an estimated 15,000 business people know who you are and what you do.
However, there is a fine line between a business article and advertising. For example, I don't include information about a Grand Opening or an Open House in my story about your company. Nor will I include your hours or days of operation. To me, that information can be relayed in the form of advertising. But I do print items that pertain to a business if an individual or company receives awards or commendations.
The legal news that is printed in The Bottom Line includes civil cases, small claims filings, judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies and state tax warrants. That information is public record and assists others who receive the newsletter know more about whether they wish to do business with a particular client. Although I don't feel proud to print negative information about other businesses, I realized long ago that the news is imporant to subscribers.
The other question I have received of late is whether The Bottom Line is available in its entirety online. Over the past few months, new computer hardware and software has been installed and the process will soon begin to receive the necessary training to make the printed version of the publication accessible on the web. I can't predict when the transformation will be completed, but I can begin the process of collecting subscribers' e-mail addresses so I can build a database that will allow me to begin sending the newsletter electronically in the near future. Please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.