Rockford Small Business-Stateline Outlook 2011

Rockford Small Business

I am looking at the Rockford Register Star Business Outlook Section from the Sunday 3-26-11 edition and enjoying the mention that Julie and I got for Logan Counseling.   I had forgotten that I had even responded to the request, and just happened to see our listing while having my bagel and apple this morning.    So of course,  I will show it to Julie when she returns with the urchins later today from their spring break trek to Wisconsin, and I know she will appreciate it.  The section seems to say that better days are here, although I got a kick out of the headline that said that…” firms still afloat positioned to thrive as the economy revives”.

As I looked through the listings of businesses which had responded to the RRStar for a mention in this section,  I saw some names that I have seen in my Facebook stream many times. I had not associated them with the business listed in the paper, and then I started to look for mentions of websites and/or social media links, and I didn’t see many,  including ours.  Where I did find them was in the text of the listing where a savvy webmaster was able to slip it in.

So I began to wonder about how a newspaper, which is basically in competition with social media, handles a mention of a company Twitter or Facebook account, because Twitter and Facebook are free at this point, and a smart user of social media can bypass the old broadcast model of advertising and engage customers personally for free on social media, without buying classified ads.

While I really count on the Register Star for news of the community and opinion,  and my morning ritual of coffee with the newspaper, which is more than 1/2 century old,   I cannot pay the price for print advertising so I am very grateful for social media.

I do like the most recent iteration of the RRStar website,  which loads faster than the older versions,  I do not like that I cannot leave my website in a comment to an editor or blogger.  In fact, I left a question with one of the bloggers  awhile back, and I do not know if he ever answered.  Many RRStar  bloggers  have Facebook pages, and my experience is that they do not follow back so quickly, except for Chuck Sweeny and Jennie Pollack, who I post to once in awhile.  Mr. Sweeny is an active participant on Facebook, and must have a very thick skin.  Jennie writes good stuff about green topics each week.

But once again, why would a high page rank site like the RRStar allow backlinks to a local business blogger like myself?  Not good business.

However,  I watch the RRStar for business leads, that I can connect with on Social Media.  An article in the paper is a good lead in to a social media conversation.

So I guess that we small business folks are going to have a relationship with print and broadcast media which has some ambivalence in it.  We will read and use the print and broadcast media and social media in our marketing plans.   While I would love to have the reach an advertisement would give me, no way can I pay for it.   Guess I can leave some comments for the bloggers, and hopefully that will bring readers who buy goods at the newspaper website.

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