Buy ads in our pages or tell your bosses to buy them today!
The US economy is coming back to life over a year into the crisis—for both good reasons, like people figuring out how to operate their enterprises safely, and bad ones, like governments removing public health restrictions on normal business practices faster than scientists say they should due to pressure from major industries and an understandably impatient populace. While state and federal support for small businesses like DigBoston and individual workers alike in the form of direct aid and loans at levels not seen in decades has also played a critical role in pulling us out of this latest recession.
Which is why I’m happy to report that this publication’s advertising base has begun returning over the last few weeks. My partners Chris Faraone, John Loftus, and I are hearing that companies and nonprofits and government agencies are feeling stable enough to start buying display ads in print news outlets like ours for the first time since the pandemic was announced by the World Health Organization in March 2020.
Words cannot describe how hopeful this development makes us feel. After the nightmare of every single one of our advertisers pulling all their ads from our pages within a week of the WHO announcement. After shutting down the print edition of DigBoston and basically becoming a digital daily for three months until we got some money from the Small Business Administration last June. And after struggling to keep this publication in business with just a trickle of ad revenue coupled with extremely generous donations to us in the form of hundreds of regular folks joining our membership program as if we were PBS or NPR and digging deep in the most difficult period many of us have ever lived through to help us continue producing vital Boston area news and views in the public interest. The support we’ve been getting has been overwhelming.
Yet, naturally, we’re not out of the woods yet. We’re in decent financial shape but we need to continue to grow in the months to come even as the global health indicators remain unstable and the coronavirus case numbers threaten to start going up again by fall. Not to make Chris, John, and I (mini) media moguls, but to just get back to where we were pre-pandemic and expand our business enough to hire needed editorial and business staff and pay more freelance talent to be a bigger, better, and more relevant independent metro newspaper than we are now.
So once again, as we have done on several occasions since we took over this media circus we call DigBoston, we turn to you—our readers—for help.
If you own or run an organization, be it private sector, public sector, or nonprofit sector, advertise with us. Like folks in the cannabis, beer, and sport vehicle industries have been doing. Like some universities have been doing. Like some government agencies have been doing. Talk to our crack sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org and take advantage of the excellent bang for your marketing buck that we can provide. Helping you reach the coveted youth demographic that we have a lock on—and several other key demographics besides.
We say this especially to people running enterprises in industries that we write about regularly. Restaurants, recording labels, and movie studios in particular. We cover the hell out of the local food, music, and film scenes, but we have just not felt much love from you all despite our providing some of the last remaining truly independent coverage of your products and services in Eastern Massachusetts markets. Think it over. Who is going to reach more tastemakers and trendsetters that will keep your sales numbers up? Some Gannett zombie local paper with one ill-treated reporter serving a shrinking audience with content recycled from police blotters and USA Today? Or a journalist-owned independent packed with bleeding-edge content like DigBoston?
If you’re a worker bee, then put in a good word for us with your bosses. Tell them that you and your friends read the Dig. And that between our print presence and our fast-growing digital presence we can help them get people in their doors day in and day out. People with money to spend and significant personal social media presences that create a multiplier effect on any ad money spent when they tell their friends about the good experience they had where you work. Who tell their friends. Who then tell their friends and so on.
If neither of those options are possible for you for whatever reason—you’re retired, you’re laid up with a medical problem or whatever—then just patronize our advertisers. And tell your friends to do the same. Something literally every reader can do.
This is a team effort and you all are officially part of our DigBoston team. Because we put this paper out for you and we certainly can’t stay in the game for the long haul without all of your help. And every news organization like ours must be considered as two halves of a whole. Yes, the great content our writers, photographers, and artists provide is the body of our paper. But the ads are our lifeblood. No ads, no Dig.
Anything you all can do to get our ad revenue back to where it was before the pandemic—and hopefully beyond that eminently achievable target—is much appreciated. And should some of you find it in your hearts to join our growing ranks of Dig members and directly support our staff and network of over 200 freelancers and interns, we will absolutely appreciate that, too. Just go to trypico.com/digboston. Or send us a check made out to Dig Media Group Corporation, 377 Willard St #394, Quincy, MA 02169.
Thanks very much, fam. We got you. Because you got us.
Jason Pramas is executive editor and associate publisher of DigBoston.
Executive editor and associate publisher, DigBoston. Executive director of Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. Former founder and editor/publisher of Open Media Boston. 2018 & 2019 Association of Alternative Newsmedia Political Column Award Winner.