What would you do if you ran a newspaper and discovered that:
* Half of your employees — including those in circulation — don’t subscribe?
* Half of your employees — including those in the newsroom — don’t read the paper (except for their own stories)?
* Half of your employees don’t subscribe to your e-newsletters?
* Half of your employees don’t have your website as the homepage on their computers?* Half of your employees in a grocery store walk past an open rack of papers in disarray and don’t straighten them out?
* Half of your employees use craigslist to buy and sell rather than your own classifieds?
* Half of your employees get emails, letters and phone calls from customers and don’t respond to them?
* Half of your employees remain quiet during conversations when others’ spoke falsely about the paper and its website?
* Half of your employees who use your website used a fake name to post comments?
What would you do? Anything? I would bet that at least half of your employees fit into most of those categories. Maybe it isn’t important, but I believe there is a great deal of information within your own workforce that can guide you to improve your paper and digital presence. If you can get them to be honest in explaining why the paper isn’t worth their time to read or money to subscribe, then that should guide some improvements.
It costs nothing but some pride.
P.S. It isn’t an acceptable answer to “make” them subscribe, make your website their home page, or clean up supermarket newspaper racks.