Fence Post foundation of staff, reader and advertiser loyalty will carry us into the future
January 8, 2016
If you asked me for one word to describe The Fence Post, it's loyalty. I have been in The Fence Post management role for almost 14 months and I've learned far more than I've taught.
There's the loyalty of our staff. Our core team of nine has a cumulative 62 years of experience with The Fence Post, or an average of almost seven years apiece. That's unheard of in today's "dying" print industry, where the grass is so often thought to be greener where it is newer and fresher. Our team includes folks who are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. They have varying backgrounds and make their homes all over the region, but share at least one commonality — a great appreciation and respect for the farming, ranching and agricultural lifestyle.
There's the loyalty of our readers. During my tenure, I've had the good fortune of meeting hundreds of you. I've seen you at shows in McCook, Denver and Greeley, to name a few, and have talked to many of you on the phone or just bumped in to you in our day-to-day lives. Almost every conversation begins with, "We've been subscribers for 10 years" or "I've been reading The Fence Post for the last 20 years" or "I read you every week cover to cover." The majority of the time, it quickly feels like I'm talking to an old friend. I'm well aware that old friend isn't me personally, but rather the brand I'm representing. This unique bond is an incredible honor and quite humbling. You turn to The Fence Post as a staple of your lives and have for years. We don't take that responsibility lightly.
There's the loyalty of our advertisers. Our studies have shown that The Fence Post ads are one of the most regularly read items in our weekly publication. Once again, we have customers who have been with us for 5, 10, 20 years and more. You've spent thousands of dollars with us, and we know you wouldn't be with us if we weren't delivering results through the loyal audience in the paragraph above. If you combine the loyalty of our staff with the loyalty of our advertisers, not surprisingly you find true and genuine relationships. When there is a death in you family, we cry with you and proudly publish the obituary. When the cattle market is at an all-time high and your business is flourishing, we celebrate with you. When you hang up the cleats after 40 years in business, we shed a tear and crack a smile to wish you well in your next phase of life.
While the print world struggles to adapt and evolve to stay ahead of the changing times, The Fence Post continues to grow. Our weekly print edition is still our staple and will continue to be so. This past year brought about significant change, consolidating from two editions — the Rocky and the Plains — to one supercharged edition, simply The Fence Post. Previously, we drew our own lines on the map, which limited our powerful reach. Now, we fully understand that it's not geography that defines our readership. It's a common set of values and way of life. You don't stop at a county or state line if you're going somewhere to get something you need to improve your life or operation. Now, neither do we.
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In 2016, we will continue to carry your steady favorites in The Fence Post. We will be tweaking our design and layout a bit in an effort to help grow new audiences, but without forgetting our core. Also, look for significantly expanded efforts placed on our website (thefencepost.com), email newsletter (The Fence Post Weekly Roundup), and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Please seek us out wherever you're most comfortable and help spread the word. We want to be relevant to you and your everyday lives, no matter where you are or what platform you're choosing to view us on.
Thank you for your loyalty to The Fence Post in 2015 and for the last 35 years. Our success and longevity is owed to you.
TJ Burr is manager of The Fence Post. He can be reached by phone at 1-800-275-5646, Ext. 11334, or via email at email@example.com.