Meet you at the mailbox
By Holly Martin
After being around for over 60 years, we know that High Plains Journal and a Sunday morning cup of coffee are just a part of some readers' routines. For others, Monday lunch just wouldn't be the same if you didn't have a chance to sit down and see what Ken Root has on his mind. I've even heard of a subscriber who was so ready to get a jump on the classifieds, he met the mailman on delivery day.
So when we started hearing about subscribers not receiving their issues a week--or more--later than normal, we were concerned. Our staff prides itself on making sure we meet deadlines and are getting our job done when it is supposed to be done. We know that's what you do, so why wouldn't you expect the same from us?
We also know that there have been significant weather issues across our coverage area over the last few weeks. When we had employees who were snowed in, it didn't stop us from going so far as to have the publisher work the inserter line to ensure we would meet the mail truck deadlines.
That's why it was frustrating to us, when despite our best effort, there have still been delays.
As you may have heard, the U.S. Postal Service has been making some significant changes. Distribution centers have been closed and routes are different. Those changes came about the first of 2013.
In addition to these delivery issues, you may know that USPS has announced they will suspend Saturday delivery. Even if you don't get your publication on Saturday, chances are this will mean another day's delay in getting our information to you. My point?
We're trying to solve some of these issues in the best way for our readers.
We've been in contact with USPS to ensure we're doing everything right. We are. The delays, according to them, are due to changes in routes and the timing of those routes. In addition, they have combined large processing centers into fewer facilities, further bottling up mail for even later delivery. The changes mean that a Colby, Kan., subscriber's paper will go from Dodge City to Wichita to Omaha to North Platte to Colby. While most of us rural folks know that isn't really an improvement, it is the situation we're dealing with now.
High Plains Journal is also a member of ABM, a trade organization that focuses on issues of magazine publishers. We're members so that we can be as proactive as possible in dealing with postal issues and regulations upfront.
But we're not prepared to sit back and wait and see what happens. We need your help and feedback. If you have been experiencing delivery delays on your High Plains Journal, please take a moment to tell us about it. We're hoping that the more information we have, the better we can communicate with the Postal Service and get the delivery problems tracked down.
You can contact us via:
Please let us know your name, ZIP code, and how many days' delay you have been experiencing. And for that matter, we'd love to hear your thoughts on how we're doing in general. You'd be surprised how often we get a single phone call that helps us change our publication for the better for our readers. After all, we're here to deliver the best, most useful publication we can to you. Help us achieve that goal.
Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.