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Feel our pain as we address postal rate increase

As I See It

By now, just about everybody in business has probably noticed the July postal rate increase. Those of us who make our living through the mail have felt it.

Felt it hard.

The Mississippi Business Journal last raised subscription prices in 1998. However, due to the postal rate increase — and increases in just about everything else — we are raising our annual subscription rate to $54.95, effective Jan. 1, 2003. This change represents a 12% increase, or 3% per year over the four years since our last price increase.

But, before you write us off, Gentle Subscriber, let me plead our case.

When our readers speak, we listen

Why should readers be willing to pay the higher price to continue their subscription to the MBJ? Where’s the value?

As a condition of membership in the Association of Area Business Publications, and for our own information, we conduct an independent reader survey every two years. This serves as our report card, so to speak, and helps us to understand the wants and needs of our readers. When our readers speak, we listen.

The Mississippi College School of Business has conducted the last two reader surveys for us.

Our readers are a cooperative and vocal group. On the whole they say they are very pleased with what we are doing and believe they receive value for their investment.

In fact, our approval rating is so high that it both delights and scares us. We carefully consider our readers’ comments and have made changes to reflect many of those suggestions.

Serving at your will and pleasure

Business news has taken a backseat to violence and corruption in the daily papers. Absent some type of scandal or miscreant activity, business has little voice. It is into this void that we place ourselves.

With the limited space we have available, we try to present a broad cross-section of Mississippi business happenings. We strive for objectivity. This means that we report the good things as well as the not so good. We leave the editorializing to our opinion pages, and it’s there that we champion the causes we support and oppose those we feel are not in the best interest of the state’s business community.

We believe that our product offers unique value to our readers and advertisers.

The Mississippi Business Journal is Mississippi’s only statewide business newspaper and the only business journal in the state whose circulation numbers are reviewed by Verified Audit Circulation.

Our area of coverage stretches from the Gulf Coast to Southaven and from Louisiana to Alabama.

Being a paid subscription-based publication is important to us and to our advertisers.

While free distribution papers just appear in your mailbox from time to time, like Wal-Mart flyers, our readers pay for the right to receive our product. When subscribers renew their subscriptions, it’s a vote of confidence for the job we are doing. Our full membership in the Mississippi Press Association is very important to us and is only available to paid subscription-based newspapers.

We are allowed to remain in business solely through the support of our readers and advertisers. Like all participants in a free enterprise system, we serve at the will and pleasure of our customers.

For the past 23 years our customers have voted us worthy to continue our endeavor. We appreciate that support and commit to continue reporting Mississippi business news to the best of our ability as long as we are allowed to exist.

Thought for the Moment — These things are good in little measure and evil in large: yeast, salt, and hesitation.

— from the Talmud

Joe D. Jones, CPA, is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. Contact him at cpajones@msbusiness.com.

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