The phone at the Republic-Monitor had been ringing more than normal on Fridays due to folks not getting their newspaper on Thursday like they expected.
Myself along with Angie Brooks in circulation and Katie Hotop in bookkeeping, explained our situation to the best of our ability.
An explanation can sometimes feel like an excuse. I was taught, no excuses, fix it. The problem with this however, if you’re not in a position to fix it, all you can do is explain and apologize.
Hence the delivery storm we experienced Sept. 16 through Sept. 30, 2021.
Since I have been publisher for the Republic-Monitor, Dec. 1, 2016, this is the first time I have had such a situation.
The company that prints our newspaper (Concord Printing Co.) had their own storm, and it blew right up to Perryville.
There was an equipment breakdown, and a delay in getting the equipment needed. None of this was anyone’s fault. It happened, and it was being worked on as fast as time and supplies would allow.
The problem, however, was I had no control over this. All I could do was call our printer, tell them my problems and ask when will this be fixed.
It took several weeks to get fixed – because it turned out that there were three machines that all had issues at the same time. One would get fixed, and it still didn’t get fixed. The trouble shooting continued and it took three weeks to get all of the issues resolved.
For our customers who didn’t receive a paper, we either brought one to them, mailed one to them in an envelope, and/or we extended their subscription by one, two or three weeks.
Our response to our subscribers, “I’m sorry your paper wasn’t delivered, may I send you one or do you want me to extend your subscription? We are working with our printer to get this fixed as soon as we can.”
For 90 percent of all the calls we received, the subscriber was understanding and patient with us. They were satisfied with us sending or extending the paper.
The reality is they just wanted their newspaper. Our newspaper has news, shopping opportunities, public notices and community activities, and many of these are subject to specific dates or deadlines. That is why timeliness is important in the delivery of our paper, and not just to subscribers, but also to our newsdealers.
To those who missed their paper and called in, thank you for making us aware, it gave us an opportunity to make the missed papers right, but it also let us know you value the newspaper.
For those who called their local store wanting to know if the paper was there yet, thank you for letting our newsdealers know the paper was important to you.
Thursday, October 7, 2021, the newspaper office only received seven phone calls from subscribers who said their paper wasn’t in their mailbox. I have given those names to our printing company to watch for as well as the post office so they can watch for them also.
I have high hopes for this Thursday. Zero missed papers, but, if your missed, call us please, we want to make it right, no matter where the error lies.
As I have said, I may not be in control or even able to fix the problem, but we will do what is necessary to make you satisfied with our service along with our content.
The silver lining to our storm was the confirmation of how valued our newspaper is in our community. For that, myself and the staff of the Republic-Monitor thank you.
Beth Durreman is the publisher of the Republic-Monitor. She can be reached at 573-547-4567, ext. 225 Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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