This is something a little different today. It’s newspaper marketing and circulation, rather than journalism. File it under ICYMI.
This week, the Wall Street Journal found a unique way to respond to one reader’s complaint. California businessman Richard Nagler made a bit of local press when he posted a note on his business asking that whoever was taking his morning newspaper stop doing so. Nagler’s note to the thief suggested the guy simply borrow it and return it every day by mid-morning. (He went on to write, “I find the editorial stance of the Wall Street Journal reprehensible, but the journalism justifies the subscription.”)
Well, a local blog covered the story of Nagler’s stolen newspapers and his note. That caught the eye of the brass at the Wall Street Journal. Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker decided to post his own note on Nagler’s business. You see it above. The newspaper also posted a note offering the thief a subscription at a low introductory rate.
If the offer of a free iPad to compensate for a few stolen newspapers strikes you as overkill, consider that this non-story and the WSJ’s generous offer has now been covered by Huffington Post, Romenesko, NPR and local television stations. Add The Kicker to that growing list of coverage. The WSJ might have paid $400 for that iPad. It costs more than $200,000 for a full-page color ad in the newspaper’s own national edition. I’d say the iPad publicity is cost-effective. …
Seriously, it’s truly genius marketing. It highlights just how important the daily newspaper is. It suggests mobile solutions. It’s great customer service. It’s great all the way around.
The Wall Street Journal couldn’t buy this kind of publicity at any price.