In Circ: Making the switch to digital

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Multicultural Marketing Resources recently made the decision to send out its quarterly newsletter in digital form starting January 2009. It had previously existed for 14 years as a print newsletter. Lisa Skriloff is the president, editor and publisher of Multicultural Marketing Resources, which services journalists who have requested to receive information on companies with multicultural marketing news and expertise, and marketing executives looking to reach that demographic. She talked to DMNews about the switch from print to digital, and more.

Q: Why make the switch from a print to an e-mail newsletter now?

A: It's a combination of convenience and the economy. People definitely prefer to receive it this way. When we announced we were doing the newsletter as an email only, we got nothing buy positive responses. Not one person was against the idea. The economy is definitely also a factor. Every month I look at the printing bill and the price of postage, and it seemed like a good time to make the switch. Also, with the money we would have to spend on the US Postal Service's new requirements for mailing lists (the recently enacted Move Update requirements) that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Q: Is there any chance your annual directory — which is 96 pages — of multicultural sources would also become all digital?

A: Over the next few years, I don't see a digital version replacing the print copy, I see a combination. Right now, we offer it on our Web site and CD-ROM. But people definitely like the physical version, they keep it on their desk, and it reminds them of this company as a source.

Q: How do you distribute the annual directory? 

A: We do a lot of free distribution, we give it out free to journalists of color, through organizations such as the National Association of Black journalists. We sell copies of it on Amazon.com and on our Web site. We also distribute it at trade shows to conference attendees. We print up 10,000 of them each year.

Q: What are your plans going forward into 2009?

A: Just more of a venture into digital. The cost is very high; it's an expensive thing to print and mail a newsletter. In general, news is just going more and more online now, and it's only going to continue going that way.  

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