We recently changed our landline phone number, and have been getting a boatload of calls for the previous number possessor. Some have been obvious credit card calls, some are obviously calling from an outdated cold call list. Despite having registered with the federal Do Not Call list, we continue to get these. Not the end of the world.
Today, I received a call from the local paper, looking for the folks we aren’t. Once we were all squared away that we weren’t them, the person on the other end of the phone said she could talk with me, and began to give me a breathless spiel about the local paper, subscription rates, and left me an opening when she asked if I’d noticed how the cost of the paper at the newsstand had been increasing. I told we don’t get or read the paper.
To hear the disappointment in her voice, you woulda thought I had just killed a puppy.
Quietly, resigned to the fact that I was not likely to be a sales target, she slowly gave me the number for the paper’s customer service line, just in case I changed my mind. In reality, I’m not likely to. See, we get a local paper for our part of the metro. It comes for free in the mail, talks about things that are within five miles of my home, and is targeted to the world I spend more than half my time within. The city paper can’t do that — they need to appeal to a much broader regional area for their “local” news, as well as covering national events. If our little area gets part of a full page in all that, I’d be surprised.
The world is a changing, and printed newspapers are suffering for it, but that’s the way it goes. I think those that have blended their print and online options are probably the most likely to survive in a digital world. If not… well… it’ll be Attack of the Show and Gizmodo for me.