FIRST BLAST OF SUMMER
We are now just entering into May which means for us at The Kid's Directory that it is almost June and almost summer. Forecasting the next publication always puts us ahead of ourselves. Still, I must say that I am missing spring: The bursting of the azaleas and the pungent smell of jasmine and the velvet texture of the magnolia blossoms, all against a backdrop of puffy white clouds, blue skies and the need for an occasional sweater. While the blossoms have come and for the most part gone, their spectacular display this year was largely set against a dull, grey and often wet sky. Don't know what this summer will bring, but let all of us hope that we get some recompense for a lackluster spring in the form of a mild summer. Fingers crossed!
A Bit of an Aside from the Publisher
On the heels of the premature maxim that 'print is dead' comes now the reality that the digital medium has grown so as to become increasingly unmanageable. One query may result in a couple hundred thousand or a couple million possible sites. Seriously?? That's just too overwhelming for any of us to manage! It is because of this that print is actually enjoying a resurgence as the tool that engages and guides the reader to and through the internet. This brings me to JCPenny. They have recently embarked on yet another journey in their fight for survival that will result in the re-emergence of their printed catalogues. They want to recreate that thing that made them great...something that their customers can hold in their hands which will then serve as the portal to the wealth and depth of Penny's digital website. So now just around the corner...comes a new maxim: Specialized and/or niche printing is the tool or portal to the richer, ever changing and more fluid mechanism of sales called the 'internet.'
Lots of adages or cliches now become appropriate here; history does repeat itself, the old becomes new, and of course what goes around, comes around.
Stories from the Front
Here's a story that amplifies the aside above. I spoke to a former advertiser today who said that she had left the KD some time ago to enter into a relationship with Google pay per click marketing program. She reported that while the program has generated sales, the cost of the program has continued to ratchet up. So to keep her costs down, she has had to continually monitor and supervise her relationship with Google. She said that it felt like she had to care for her Google account as "if it were a little baby." Sounds like to me that Google is now a kind of partner in her business by demanding more of her revenue without doing much on the investment side of the equation. I am not sure that those are the kind of partners that any of us need.
The KD, on the other hand, raise our prices on average about 2 times a Decade! We are always happy when our advertisers do well. Always! Their success belongs to them, not us. We don't charge them a penny more for their success.
A revised United States Labor Department report puts Houston 15th in job creation...now (we will be climbing back to the top soon). But listen to this, Exxon's new expansion and campus in Spring Texas will account for 25% of Houston's job growth in the months ahead. The Kid's Directory is right there. We are delivering our publications to their new campus and relocation department so that as this HUGE bulge in labor growth descends on north Houston, these new Houstonians will be carrying a Kid's Directory in their hands as they look for schools, doctors, enrichment programs, summer programs, nannies and on and on. Time to join the wave and advertise with us!
Upcoming Promotions and Opportunities Month by Month
Hurry up...You are almost out of time...June will be the last issue of The Spring and Summer Activity Guide special section until January of next year. This section, long the gold standard for families planning summer activities for the kids, is the perfect place for you to be if you still have openings in your summer program. Deadline for June will be May 14th...less than a week away!
As a bit of an enticement, we are creating a contest drawing around a fair number of Schlitterbahn Galveston season passes that we have just received. For those of you who may not be familiar with Schliterbahn, it's the country's acknowledged best water park. They have locations in Galveston, New Braunfels, and South Padre Island. The passes allow the 'holder' to use the pass(es) as often as he or she might want for the entire season (May through September). The value of a pass is about $120.00, so the winners of this contest can potentially get around $580 in value. Not too Shabby! The season passes will be offered in packages of 2, 3, or 4 depending on family sizes. All advertisers who have a 1/2 page or larger will be entered into the contest and thrown into a hat. Drawings will be held at the end of May, June, and July. Remember, any current or new advertiser can participate so long as they are scheduled to run at least a 1/2 page ad. So give us a call and we will get your company's name in the hat.
July's special section is entitled The Last Blast of Summer. This section was started a few years ago and was purposed to house those businesses who are making a last effort to fill out summer programs, classes and the like. Too, this section gives businesses an opportunity to jump start their Back to School and Field Trip Guide marketing efforts before those sections make their debut in the August issue. This section has been welcomed by our advertisers as a tool for them to bridge their summer marketing into their fall sales projects.
To sweeten the pot, we will hold a 'kinda sorta traditional' Fire Sale in July. Open to all new advertisers with a 'display ad,' the KD will offer free color on their ad. The value here will vary based on ad size from a low of $70 to a high of $240.
And Now for the Freebies
|Our larder is not really full, but more tickets and passes are on their way. You just need to keep in contact with us and we will keep you informed. We do have some goodies:
- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Legends passes
are available up to a family 4 pack.
- Schlitterbahn passes are also available for up to a
family 4 pack.
Call us for details.
A Word from the Publisher
I want to reach out to all our advertisers, supporters and readers to thank them for their continued patronage. Did you know that June will mark the beginning of our 26th year?