This week’s Summer of Niche great idea includes a little twist. Most local/regional publications include some sort of reader-submitted content. Cecily Hastings and her team at Inside Publications recognized the popularity of one of their special features and took the time to make sure it continued to stay that way for their customers.
Cecily tells us how they did it:
“It started about a decade ago when a savvy PR guy in town took a copy of the magazine to Paris and sent us a photo of himself and his daughter reading the magazine in front of the Eiffel Tower. We ran it and then soon more started to arrive and we developed it as a full page.
It is probably one of the best loved reader-oriented features in our magazine. For many years it was called Readers Near and Far and last year we redesigned and renamed it as we updated our entire publication design. We now call it “Have Inside, Will Travel.”
Here’s the results:
“Within a few years, we had a backlog of more than a year’s worth of travel photos with the magazine. When people began writing to ask how long they had to wait for their shot to appear, we bought an extra 12 pages of print and ran the backlog as a special section. It has been very well received! Plus, now we only have a backlog of few months and our readers aren’t waiting and waiting for their photo to appear.
We are amazed that we have had shots from practically every country on earth! And most importantly, we are blessed with such loyal readers each month.”
Here’s the lesson: Periodically gauging customer satisfaction, even for a highly popular, long-standing feature, means that you are not taking your customers’ experience for granted. Ever. Way to go, Inside Publications!
More about Cecily and Inside Publications: Cecily Hastings is the founder and publisher of Inside Publications. The 4 neighborhood publications feature 100% local original content and are direct mailed at no charge to neighborhood homeowners. More than 350 small business advertisers support the publications with ads that appear in from one to all four editions.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com Check it out!