It isn't news that the newspaper business is in trouble. Most major newspapers have laid off workers and trimmed the size of their papers, as they have tried to deal with the down economy and the internet cutting into their business.
Seth Godin, marketing guru, wrote on his blog how he would go about starting a local newspaper...
Why not start a local newspaper?
Here's how I would do it. Assume you've got six people in your office. Each person is responsible to do two things each day:
- Interview a local business, a local student or a local political activist. You can do it by phone, it can be very short and it might take you ten minutes.
- Get 20 households to 'subscribe' by giving you their email address and asking for a free subscription. You can use direct contact or flyers or speeches to get your list.
Twice a week, send out the 'newspaper' by email. After one week, it will have more than 500 subscribers and contain more than 20 interesting short articles or quotes about people in the neighborhood. Within a month, (if it's any good) every single person in town who matters will be reading it and forwarding it along to others.
It will cost you nothing. It will become your gift to the community. And it will be a long lasting asset that belongs to you, not to the competition. (And yes, you can do this if you're a plumber or a chiropractor. And yes, you can do this if 'local' isn't geographic for you, but vertical).
Own your Zip code. The next frontier is local, and this is a great way to start.