Three years have been some challenging ones.
I Messenger Media was seriously impacted by COVID-19. We rely primarily on small businesses and at times, corporate America to purchase advertising and churches, schools, community centers and small businesses for distribution.
Additionally, prior to the pandemic we prided ourselves on going where our people are so we attended at least five weekly community events, putting our papers in the hands of consumers.
With COVID-19, most distribution points closed down or traffic came to almost a complete halt. Some businesses closed down or cancelled their advertising contracts and organizations were no longer having banquet, expos, concerts, etc.
Much to our disappointment we were faced with paying more. But we stayed focused and kept our eyes on the prize.
While some took an extended “Corona-cation,” we stayed on the job and added a daily newsletter that boasts a 58% open rate. Our “Can’t Stop, Wont Stop” mentality energized the team.
We reached out to businesses, especially restaurants and we offered them ads in our publications if they would give each customer a copy of our papers with their to-go orders..
It was a big hit. Folks would joke and say things, like: “I am going to Hall’s Chicken to get my two piece and a paper!” Or, “Nothing like going to Black Jack Pizza and getting a pizza and a paper.”
The campaign went over so well that we had business owners contacting us to get involved.
In addition to running the ads, we featured the businesses in our publications, and we ran their ads on our websites, social media platforms, in our daily enewsletter and on a daily podcast where we provided critical information for our audiences.
We believe in under-promising and over-delivering. We felt as though it was important to stay focused on continuing to provide news and information. We wanted our readers to know that we are here for them during tough times and we will be with them for all times.
It has been a challenge for us but instead of furloughing or down-sizing, we pivoted and worked to keep everyone paid, clothed, housed and fed. We applied for grants and we helped one another with everything from babysitting to delivering food.
No, we didn’t receive huge checks from a flawed system that has folks going to jail for their fraudulent claims or multi-million/billion dollar companies receiving million dollar stimulus checks. Instead we relied on limited resources and support from those who value the Black Press and journalistic excellence.
Hopefully you will stay with us in 2023. We’re going to pump up the volume because we can’t stop, won’t stop.
The Black Press will be here for you, because we love hard. We work hard and we love hard.
And we can do so much more with your support. If you like what we’re doing, log on to www.texasmetronews.com and help us to do even more.