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My husband learned the benefits of The News-Press e-newspaper the other day.
Our paper happened to land in a gutter that was pooled with water from the lawn sprinklers. Despite the plastic wrap, our paper was soaked.
Randy grumbled a bit. Maybe a lot.
And then he pulled up The News-Press’ new “Top News” morning email and clicked on the e-newspaper link.
He found it to be surprisingly readable, and easy to scan for stories he was interested in, just like the printed newspaper. “It’s definitely easier than reading a wet newspaper,” he reported in his usual supportive way. “It’s going to be great when we’re away.”
Never mind I’ve been telling him that for more than two years.
Randy, who’s a lot older than me and more set in his ways, has been pretty skeptical about this whole full-access model we’ve embarked upon. He has a basic phone he uses for calling and answering, period. It even rings like the old-fashioned rotary phones. He does not have a tablet although he’s been reading with a Kindle for a year.
So you should have seen his amazement when he found you can click on a box in the e-newspaper and a voice will read the news story to you.
That’s just one of the features of the e-newspaper, which is one of five ways subscribers can now access our unique local content.
As of Wednesday, nearly 7,000 subscribers had “activated” their digital account to get full access. (There is an added incentive: a monthly drawing for an iPad for those who activate!)
Overall, we’ve heard enthusiastic feedback regarding our enhanced content across all platforms, especially our new Causes focus, which includes an online database to find a place to volunteer. Several friends tell me they were inspired to sign up with a cause in the past few days.
Here are three primary complaints we’ve heard, and how we’ve responded:
Home delivery prices are going up Jan. 1. It’s our first increase in five years. Even so, our best rate is just 75 cents a day, the price of three gumballs. Nearly 1,000 subscribers have opted to upgrade to “EZPay” automatic monthly payments to get that rate.
I don’t want or use digital. I just want my print; I don’t want to pay extra for digital. If you want only print, no changes are necessary on your part. You’re not paying extra for digital. The price reflects the value of our content, which we’ve expanded for you.
I’m not going to pay for digital; I can get my news for free elsewhere. We understand you have many choices for news and information. What we offer that no one else can match is the deepest, most complete and most trusted local content specific to Southwest Florida.
And here is a clarification for nonsubscribers: You can view certain features like the home page, section fronts, obituaries and classifieds. But your general access to content will be limited on any digital platform.
Thanksgiving marked The News-Press’ 128th anniversary. We’re devoted to serving this community with engaging content that makes a difference every day, 24/7. We have more people covering what happens in Southwest Florida than any other news-gathering organization, all intent on giving you what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. Here is a primer on the distinctive attributes of each of our full access offerings:
Print: Your newspaper delivered to your home or local retailer
Benefits: Many of us enjoy its tactile intimacy — the ability to touch and fold and clip and take with us. We love our daily habit of sitting down with our morning coffee and paper, or going through the advertising inserts, like the gigantic Thanksgiving package.
Limitations: The content is fresh until about 10:30 p.m. the previous night.
E-newspaper: Replica of the printed paper.
Benefits: Readers can see stories and photos in the same format as published in print, read section by section, email or clip stories and ads, listen to a story, and view the past seven days of papers.
Limitations: The content is not updated and there are no advertising inserts.
Desktop: news-press.com has the latest and fullest content for Southwest Florida 24/7
Benefits: Whatever happened between 10:30 p.m. and when you wake up can be found on our website. Each day, we post about 100 news stories, videos and photo galleries. There is deep content on your favorite sections and topics; interactive databases and graphics; ability for you to engage by making comments and uploading pictures or events; customized digital advertising as well as links to digital advertising inserts.
Limitations: There is so much content you may not readily find what you’re looking for.
Smartphones: Modified website content
Benefits: Easy to view headlines, top videos and photos while on the go; customized digital advertising.
Limitations: The screen is small. Does not include all our website content nor the advertising inserts.
Tablet: Modified web site content
Benefits: Key content from our website presented in the rich visual experience of tablets. Particularly powerful when viewing photos and videos; has customized advertising.
Limitations: Does not include all our web content nor the advertising inserts.
Try any and all of our content platforms, and let us know how we’re doing!
Mei-Mei Chan is the President and Publisher of The News-Press Media Group. Her column runs the last Sunday of each month. Contact her at email@example.com.