Imagine adding numbers to your subscriber base without paying to print more newspapers. That is exactly what the St. Albert (AB) Saint City News did with their electronic edition, whose subscribers are now counted by Verified Circulation.
Publisher Rob LaLacheur lobbied to be able to count Internet subscribers since they started a digital edition two years ago.
Unlike some newspapers that have a complementary web presence, the Saint City News delivers an online product that is identical to the printed product.
“About two and a half years ago, we found a company out of New BrunswickÔÇöAdvanced PublishingÔÇöthat sort of did everything that we wanted,” said LaLacheur.
He wanted online readers to see the paper the way that it was designed.
“IÔÇÖm a big believer in having readers see the stories, the pictures, the headlines, and the ads the way that we intended them to be,” he said.
Advanced Publishing has a process that converts the large and bulky PDF files that are used for printing to a more versatile format for the web that enables, for example, hyperlinks in stories and ads.
“ItÔÇÖs a ten-minute process to get the paper online,” said LeLacheur.
Editor Olav Rokne prepares an html e-mail that is sent to subscribers, who can then access the online edition with the click of a mouse.
LeLacheur is happy that these readers now count towards the NewsÔÇÖ circulation total, which grew by six per cent. He sees these online readers the same as he would any other reader.
“If someone said that they wanted the newspaper delivered, all we would ask for is their address. And the same goes with the digital edition, and each week we deliver a complete version of the edition page for page,” he said.
Trish Connolly, Advanced Publishing CEO, is happy that their product has helped the News. As part of their mandate, they ensure that their product meets the criteria of major circulation auditing companies and allows papers to get the raw data that they need to satisfy audit requirements.
[EditorÔÇÖs Note: Rob LeLacheur is no longer with the Saint City News. He has moved on to pursue a different opportunity.]