A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Why I’m not supporting National Newsagent Week

Besides it having a truly awful logo, National Newsagent Week does not interest me since it seeks to pitch all newsagents. This encourages the channel to by judged as a channel.

A retail channel is only as strong as its weakest link.

I think about the newsagency I saw recently that was dark, with half the lights off. Or the newsagency near my office with more than half the card pockets empty. Or the newsagency that sells topped magazines at a discount. Or the newsagency with stationery covered in dust.

And, then, I think about the newsagency doing close to $500,000 a year in gifts. Or the newsagency doing $100,000 a year in online sales. Or the newsagency that stopped selling magazines and tripled the money they used to make from that space.

All of these, the good and bad, could be businesses loved by local shoppers. All of them identify as newsagencies. But, can they all be promoted as one? I don’t think so.

I get that some folks want to promote the channel to nurture relevance in the mind of consumers. Their hearts are in the right place. Their intentions are good. But this execution? It’s off in my view, not developed by professional marketers.

A black and red logo that has no emotion other than what you attach to black and red: anger and stop.

As a channel we need to address the worst of the worst and understand the negative impact their businesses can have on the perception of all other businesses in the channel. This has to be addressed if we are to run a successful national campaign.

I understand that some will embrace the campaign and say they do well from it. Good luck to them and kudos to the suppliers supporting the campaign.

It’s not for me. I am happy promoting my businesses, locally, and in service of my own local communities … by offering products they want / love and doing this in a way that is truly local.

Good marketing starts from within a business. It is embedded in business decisions, which reach out into the community to attract shoppers. It does not, in my opinion, start with a campaign outside the business pushing people into any business with a common shingle. That’s very 1970s and 1980s. We have evolved from that agent world.

So, what’s the alternative? My proposal would be to take the money pitched by suppliers and somehow have this available for investment in local communities by newsagents who engage with the campaign. rather than a campaign saying come and shop with us it could be action of businesses engaged in local community support, and thereby reinforcing, through the actions, a value proposition that folks in the local community can understand. Participating newsagents could match dollar for dollar the supplier contribution.

Plenty is written about the importance of newsagencies in the local Australian communities. I think there needs to be fewer words and more action.

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Newsagency management

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  1. Ben Poland

    Wow, less than 300 followers on either FB or Insta (and this is mainly suppliers and participants) – just shows how out of touch they are.

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