By Shereen Siewert Publisher
Wausau Pilot and Review
Taking a look through our archives, I counted the number of ribbon cutting photos, event announcements, births, obituaries and news touting the accomplishments of our business community published at no charge since Wausau Pilot and Review first launched in March 2017. The number? More than 4,000.
We believe these bits of news are important to the community, and we’re well aware that businesses are struggling to get their message out as traditional newspapers continue to shrink and lose readers. Thankfully, our business is growing, not shrinking, and as our page views rose from a few thousand readers a month to more than 670,000 in August alone, what started as a trickle of requests gradually increased to the point where we regularly receive between 10-15 submissions on any given day. As you can imagine, that led to a significant rise in our own costs — for instance, paying staff members who edit and post your stories and the hosting fees associated with the volume of stories on our site. Consequently, we’ve had to come up with a workable solution that balances the needs of our readers with that of our organization to ensure our future sustainability.
Starting this week, we’ll ask businesses and individuals with news to submit to do so through our Community Post Portal, and we have established a modest fee structure that we hope will work for most readers.
I’d hate for cost to ever prevent someone from publishing something as important as an obituary in the newspaper, and, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, we will continue to post obituaries at no charge. Birth announcements and school announcements will also continue to be free. Advertisers can also submit their news at no additional charge, as a thank you for your investment in our publication.
We remember a time when newspapers regularly published engagement announcements, anniversaries, and other milestones. They don’t anymore. But we will – gladly – and the fee is incredibly manageable. Is your business celebrating an event or a milestone? How about a special accomplishment or promotion of one of your staff members? Or, did you hire someone new and you’d like the world to know about it? These are all the types of announcements we’ll publish, and we’re keeping the fee as affordable as possible.
Nonprofit organizations can submit their news and events for a reduced rate (just $35), and there are options to publish on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well, expanding your reach significantly.
Thanks to all the readers and business owners who have made Wausau Pilot and Review such a success. We wouldn’t be here without you.