Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Hey, Vail Daily’s not all bad
The Vail Daily is far from perfect. Believe me, I know. But our heart is true. As with all human enterprises, we make mistakes, too. There’s this tradition, I guess, that causes some papers and the occasional president to avoid admitting such at all costs.So our corrections run on page one. Our editors sometimes feel the need to write apologies and own up without blaming others when they have screwed up. The “Jewish-looking” crime suspect, for instance, was solely on the newspapers, not the Sheriff’s Office. Let’s be straight about that. We all messed up there, from Vail to Grand Junction.These things happen. We don’t have to like the fact of it. I believe the real key is how you deal with it afterward if you weren’t quite alert enough to avoid the mistake in the first place. Be accountable. Tell the truth. Learn the lesson. And don’t expect a medal or a break for handling it the right way. Sometimes, humans will pile on. Some more-unscrupulous rivals will make up stuff up about you for whatever imagined edge they think they’ll gain from trying to tear you down. That’s just the way it is, too. You don’t have to like that, either.Fortunately, though, even in a newspaper the good far outweighs the bad, which of course makes the “bad” news simply because of the novelty of it. People here don’t murder each other on a daily basis, so when they do, it’s big, big news. And as the recession lifts, it will be big news when houses are selling again, skiers are coming, and everyone has a job, or two.Meantime, I take heart at while the editors on occasion apologize for mistakes and try to explain how they happened, clients and readers far more often make the effort to let us know when we’ve done well.The Fourth of July parade was a great antidote to the blows we deserved from our sizable Jewish community. I drove the pickup in front of the float and was amazed at the goodwill expressed toward us.At Sunday brunch, my wife and I met two couples from Louisiana at Paradigm in Eagle. They had come specifically because they had read about the restaurant in EAT, the Daily’s fabulous dining guide. And their praise for the Daily in general was effusive. Even jaded editors don’t mind few kind words. A big plus in coming back to the valley after spending most of 2008 away is being a part of a paper that is read so widely and knowledgeably, and with people are as willing to praise as often as they do.I’m ready for criticism and being asked to explain how we’ve handled controversial things. It’s the praise that never fails to surprise. This is my eighth paper, and by far the one with the most steady recognition. The paper matters here. We’re reminded of that just about every day, when we’ve done well and when we have let people down. This is a high calling.I’ve been the editor here for most of the past 10 years, but I’d been largely ignorant of the business side of the business until 2008.In news, the mission is keeping the public as well informed as possible about what’s truly relevant to our lives and our community.On the sales side, it’s really about helping clients grow their business as effectively as possible. It’s only when the clients succeed that we succeed as a business over time. We’re not the cheap alternative, but we are by far the most cost-effective when it comes to return on the investment in exposure, market share and ultimately increased business for the client. I’m very proud of our sales force being so focused on their clients’ success over just making sales. Like their brethren over the wall in news, they are in it to make a positive difference for the community. After all, just as a better informed, more civicly minded populace makes for a better community, so is one with more successful businesses that pay much of the taxes and make the largecontributions to phlanthropic causes.In their words Here are a few messages from clients that tell me our folks are on the right path:”We at Arriesgado clothing have been doing business with the Vail Daily on a regular basis since our doors opened in 2007. It has been a pleasure to work with our representative Beth McKenzie. Always one to give us personal and direct service we know that Arriesgado Clothing is not just another account number or pay check, but a real client with real people that she cares about. Beth frequently checks to make sure our ads have run correctly and that all of our advertising needs are fully met. If we ever run into problems she fixes them promptly and correctly, and is always suggesting ways to improve our ads to reach a larger audience. The Vail Daily provides us prices we can afford and a circulation large enough for great exposure. It is a valuable tool that has had a big hand in the success that we have experienced to this date.””Stephanie( Joseph), Thanks so much for the ad. We recieved great feedback from the ad and wanted you guys to know how excited we are to work with you… Thanks so much!” Alpine River Outfitters”The Vail Daily has proven time and again the best avenue for us to communicate our message to the greater community. Our back page ad has proven especially beneficial to Timber Hearth Grille’s business. The Vail Daily has been our primary avenue of communication with the greater valley community for many years. Our sales rep is always professional and is constantly looking for creative ways for us to get our message out. ” The Club at Cordillera/ Timber Hearth Grille”The Vail Daily is our most important advertising source and sets the bar for return on investment amongst marketing outlets in the Vail Valley. When people discover we are the owners of Simply Massage, they always say they have seen our ads and know what we do even if they have not yet come in for a massage. This large market exposure is the differential advantage of the Vail Daily compared to other marketing resources.”Phoebe Larsson, Simply Massage Inc.Vail, Avon and Breckenridge, Colorado”Zach (DuFresne), Avon Liquor has benefited from various ads the Vail Daily has created. The most effective have been unique ads which have show cased various specialty wines. The ads have translated into great sales on the featured products. I recommend the Vail Daily for advertising needs and their creativity ability. With the large readership in the Vail Valley combined with creative ads and excellent promotions our campaigns have generated enormous sales.” Nick NoesenOwner, Avon Liquors. “Since starting my new advertising campaign with the Vail Daily I have seen a significant increase in foot traffic, consignments and sales. Their art department did an outstanding job designing my ads, and my customers frequently rave over them. They have helped me educate readers that we carry the best high-end men’s, women’s, and children’s consignment in the Valley. With their help, we have definitely made a name for ourselves as the only consignment store that feels like a boutique.”Kristi Pittman, Threads Upscale Clothing ConsignmentA Branch of Nest Furnishings”Selling pre-construction real estate is a difficult task without a property/showroom to present the product. Strategic and frequent placements when those clients are in town have helped tell our story. The Vail Daily has been instrumental in getting our project in front of Vail visitors and real estate professionals for the past three years. Beth (McKenzie) gives excellent insight as to when the paper will be most useful to our effort. She has been pro-active in communicating promotions the VD is offering for our marketing department to take advantage of. Beth has also been quick to offer creative ideas on different ways to present our ads both in layout and frequency.”Craig Cohn Solaris, Real EstateDirector of Sales Marketing & LeasingYes, I know we’re not perfect, and we make our goofs. But our people do an awful lot of good work, too. And their hearts are in the right place. Don Rogers, editor and publisher, welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
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