We are constantly examining and evaluating our market from the viewpoints of various customers. Our advertising sales clients and partners are always looking for new and interesting ways to find customers and identify what it is about their products and services that keep customers coming back and engaging and relying on them more often. On the reader side of our many Times Media products we are looking to build our market share too. That's why we offer our audience not just news, but a compelling 24/7 report covering a range of topics from dramatic photos of a storm system (from our staff, but also the work of talented readers) that rocked the region to the first woman to recover from breast cancer surgery and take the title of Mrs. Indiana.
That reliable, local report is devoured by our more than 270,000 monthly print readers combined with 8 million page-views on a hundred sites, replica pages, blogs and feeds published in different formats and media, on multiple digital platforms you read on your computers, tablets and phones. In the specific case of the weather gallery we were happily surprised that 230,000 of you looked at the photos on your computers, tablets and cell phones. And to the 100 photographers out there that took the time to post those awe-inspiring images, thanks. I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt blessed to be outside the path of the storm and anxious to help my neighbors who were less fortunate in its aftermath.
Those stories are just a couple of recent examples of why what we do is important and we take the responsibility to inform (and entertain) seriously. Because the connection to our readers is a very personal one. So when we look at the possibility of creating a new section, yes of course we look at who we think our readers might be and what clients are looking for that subset of our audience interested in their product and service innovations, but I also look inside my own head. I totally relate to what's commonly referred to---though I'm not too nuts about the terminology, it's too casual for a significant life stage---as the “sandwich generation.” Many of my co-workers, friends and family are caught between the responsibility of grown children in college or trying to enter the job market at the same time their parents and grandparents may be in declining health, moving cross-country or in financial difficulties.
This is the stuff of life in 2013 and while we can't even pretend to offer solutions, we can empathize. And we can tell you about folks we know who have come up with very interesting ideas about coping with the unique set of challenges and opportunities that open up when you get to the 55+ time of life.
We've heard stories like the one about a parent forced into early retirement who teamed up with his under-employed college graduate daughter to start a successful small business; grandmothers who have become Skypers and social networking queens who share their iPad Minis with increasingly smart toddler grandchildren; backyard farmers who spend hours strategizing over keeping their vegetables safe from wildlife foragers and researchers who look at the range of innovative lifestyles --- like communities of interest --- opening up for Baby Boomers determined to one way or another stay in the game.
Look for Prime each week on Tuesday. For starters, we are going with a page for three weeks and a larger section once a month. Prime is good-looking, funny and smart and we hope you enjoy it. It has never been easier to let us know.
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