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Thanks for supporting your local newspaper

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Thanks for supporting your local newspaper

Posted on 09 June 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Too much coffee

Tesha M. Christensen

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN,
Owner & Editor
Tesha@MonitorSaintPaul.com

Newspapers have your back. We really do. Now more than ever, local is important. Who is open? Who is sick? Who is helping others? Who can you turn to for inspiration and encouragement?
As small businesses take a hit, we’re working to keep bringing you trustworthy, relevant and local news. It’s not a job we take lightly, but is one that is vital to keeping our democracy strong. But as businesses are affected, so are we because our revenue stream is directly tied to theirs in a symbiotic relationship. When they succeed, so do we; and when other businesses suffer, our small, family-owned business follows along the same path.
Last month, we put out the call for help to support our efforts, and we’re so very grateful for those who have sent in donations to our voluntary pay drive. Some of the letters have moved me to tears, so I thought I’d share a few of them.

Notes that have made our day in our virtual office

Dear Editor:
I have been meaning to write you for some time now since reading about your purchase of the paper. I really enjoy getting the paper and value its coverage of our community – the paper isn’t recycled at our house until I’ve had a chance to read through it, often tearing out articles about organizations, issues, or events in our community that I would like to further explore. I’ve noticed the change in coverage since you became owner/editor and I really appreciate the paper’s significant focus on the environment/nature/climate change and our role in it, and the features of inspiring individuals/organizations doing amazing things in our community.
It’s always a bright spot in my day when I see it at my door, and as I work during the day, it’s often a “can’t wait to read” treat for the evening.
I don’t know anything about the newspaper business, but I can imagine that it can be daunting in this day and age. Kudos to you for taking it on – I really admire that and wish you and the paper all the best!
Jane Stockman

Dear Editor:
Happy “belated” World Press Day! I am deeply grateful for the work of you and your remarkable staff as you cover and highlight “our world.”
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Please use the enclosed contribution for any purpose you deem appropriate.
Judith Coggins

 

What’s Open, 2020 Grads
These generous donations will help cover the expenses of printing and delivering a free newspaper to over 21,000 homes with another 4,000 delivered via bulk drops at local businesses. (See form on page 5 to make a donation and enter in a prize drawing for some fantastic gift certificates from local businesses.)
We are the only paper that goes to each and every door in the neighborhood, making sure that everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, socio-economic status or disability receives a paper. With deep roots in the neighborhood, the Monitor is a great direct marketing tool for businesses as we get in the hands of local residents – who clip out ads and articles and save them on their refrigerators. We enjoy and value that partnership and synergy.
We’ve launched a few exciting new projects recently as we seek to support and give back to our community. The What’s Open page on our web site (www.MonitorSaintPaul.com) offers free listings for businesses to let customers know how and when they can do businesses with them. Those who want to stand out with more details and deals can opt for a premium listing.
The 2020 Grads web page gives parents a place to honor and recognize their graduates. The class of 2020 has it tough, and we want to help you do something special for them. Rave about your grad from kindergarten, grade 5, grade 8, high school and college/tech school with a free photo and listing of their sports, honors and activities. We want to hear all about it! Make a bigger splash with family photos, highlights and more in a premium listing – and ask family members and friends to contribute.
It’s not necessarily an easy time to buy ads, and when folks are cutting their budgets they may consider slashing their marketing funds. But what history has shown us is that those who stay the course in times of crisis stay in front of their customers and don’t lose market share to their competitors.
Let your customers know if you’re selling online or doing delivery through ads in the Monitor. Share the stories of how you’re involved in the community. Take this time to connect with your customers and reward loyalty. You’ll reap the rewards now and in the future.
“In good times, people want to advertise. In bad times, they must advertise,” said Bruce Barton, an American writer, advertising executive, and politician who lived from 1886 to 1967. It was true during the crises of the 20th century, and it’s true during this pandemic.
I’d love to hear more about how you’re connecting and managing through the COVID-19 pandemic and following the protests. Email, reach out on Facebook or Instagram, or send me a lovely letter through our valuable United States Postal Service.

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Shovel the walkwalks, say hi to your newspaper carriers

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Shovel the walkwalks, say hi to your newspaper carriers

Posted on 10 February 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Too Much Coffee

Tesha M. Christensen

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN, Tesha@LongfellowNokomisMessenger.com

Let’s give a hand to our newspaper carriers, those wonderful people who are out delivering the news before many of us wake up. As winter sets in, give your newspaper and mail carriers a hand. Keep sidewalks shoveled and ice-free, and make sure there’s a clear pathway to your front door. Some folks even clear a house-to-house trail on their lawns so the carriers don’t have to go up and down steps. It could speed delivery, just a tiny bit.
Nearly 30 million U.S. households still get a newspaper delivered to their doorstep, according to 2018 data from the Pew Research Center.
The job hazards are what you’d expect – dogs, sprinklers, rain, snow and sleet.
The carriers may not be what you’d expect. Henry Huggins, the beloved fictional character created by Beverly Cleary, epitomized a time when kids filled the majority of newspaper routes. Today, most carriers do the routes as a second job. This side hustle pays for vacations, cabins, and home repairs. For some, it’s a way to stay active and fit when they retire.
Delivering newspapers has been a crash course in business training for many famous folks, including Walt Disney, Warren Buffett, Kathy Ireland, former Vice President Joe Biden, actor Tom Cruise, and director David Lynch.
Our newspaper carriers aren’t TMC Publication staff members, but employees of Fresh Heir, a small business that delivers for a variety of neighborhood newspapers in the Twin Cities. They earn their wage based on the number of papers and routes they deliver. Carriers can earn $13-15 an hour and their hours are flexible. To accommodate those without cars, the Fresh Heir van drops bundles off at street corners. Carriers can then fill their bags multiple times over the next hour or so without them becoming too heavy, and then work their way up and down the street. A 12-inch stack of newspapers weighs about 35 pounds, so a carrier is always balancing how much they can carry versus the length of the route. In poor weather, the carrier places the newspapers in polybags (that can be recycled by readers), and in better weather they roll them with a rubber band to make it easier to throw.
It takes some muscle and finesse to deliver a paper to your front steps. I can tell you that my arm got pretty tired by the end of my routes this summer, and some papers didn’t make it exactly where I was aiming. My apologies for those of you that found your papers closer to the bushes than your front steps.
Some of our carriers have been delivering the same routes for years, and although I tried to talk them into being interviewed for this column, they all declined, leaving the spotlight for others. These carriers regularly walking our neighborhood streets help keep them safe. And they feel connected to the homes they’re serving.
Every once in awhile a newspaper carrier makes it into the newspapers they’re delivering. Here are a few stories compiled by the News Media Alliance:
• In 2018, Howard Shelton was shot on the job. He is a carrier for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The 60-year-old was delivering to customers on his route when his car was stolen and he was shot. His customers set up a GoFundMe to help with his expenses while out of work. It was the first time in 20 years Shelton missed work.
• In 2017, Mari Schlegel was delivering the Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star when she noticed a home on her route was on fire. After calling 911, Schlegel knocked on the door of the house to wake up the resident, Debra Sherard, and alert her to the fire. Thanks to Schlegel’s quick thinking, Sherard and her pets escaped the house unharmed, and the fire department was able to put out the fire before it spread further through the house.
• When Debbie Brazell, a newspaper delivery woman for Columbia, South Carolina’s The State newspaper, noticed that papers were piling up in the paper box of a long-time subscriber on her route, she thought something had to be wrong. And she was right. The 93-year-old resident had fallen and couldn’t get up, so Brazell called 911. The woman, it turned out, had fallen and blacked out on Friday, and was not found until Brazell arrived on Monday.
Feel free to leave a tip for your carrier during these tough winter months (it’s customary to tip a carrier $5 to $10 per month, and up to $25 during the holidays), and I’m sure they’d also appreciate a smile and a thank you.
Newspaper carriers don’t just deliver papers; they also deliver democracy door to door, according to Lindsey Loving, a spokesperson for News Media Alliance. “Without newspaper carriers, many people wouldn’t receive the news that keeps them informed about their communities,” she said. “Both the news and newspaper carriers play critical roles in preserving our democratic society, and we couldn’t be more grateful to them.”
I completely agree.

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