War Memorial Gary Trouton


February 2008

Les ponders on the options open to The Village Pump in the coming years

I was interested to read of the suggestion that readers should be asked for feedback as to the content etc of our Village Pump. I'm just wondering, however, as to where that will take us. For example, let's take my regular contributions, and I have other peoples in mind as well; let's say we delete such contributions. This should please some and not others so what have you gained?

In fact you could ask yourself how important is content? And what part does that play when you decide to buy the Pump? I suggest very little! As our Pump has been in circulation now for nearly 30 years what has developed is a hard band of "supporters" such as me who buy the Pump almost irrespective of its content. Do some people wait almost deliriously for the 1st of the month in almost breathless anticipation of reading my latest masterpieces, or could it be that there are many who would say, what was all that about, assuming of course that they were that interested.

One thing you could consider is to introduce colour along the lines of Speak Up, a recently introduced magazine in this area, but think of the problems, work and cost that would involve. Would it be worth it? And yet the Pump has to involve it can't just exist. So what road should it travel down? In my view a good question but I'm far from sure if I know the answer.

I frequently ask such questions as, for example, where is Stoke Ferry going? I don't know, but then I don't know where our Pump is going either. One thing I do know I won't be around in the next 30 years; will the Village Pump? You tell me. What I would like to see is, and I know this may sound incredible, but that we should not worry too much about content but my favourite subject sales.

What would really interest me would be if the number of sales increased month by month. That would really show that the Village Pump was on the ball. Assuming you do wish to increase sales you won't achieve that just by addressing it's content, so that could stay as it is. What you need is a Sales Force which would include an Advertising Manager, a vital appointment, which shouldn't be left to our editor; he has enough to do as it is.

And how do you get these people to work in Sales, which includes Advertising? Nearly impossible on a voluntary basis. But try offering incentives, that's different. And when such talent comes along snap it up wherever that talent resides; imposing a restriction that such people must reside within the circulation area, which is present policy, is not very good business sense.

Les Lawrence

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