Although I have owned and been the editor of the New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News for more than 27 years, about ten years ago, I started noticing that a number of businesses had plaques on their walls that displayed the Business and Dining Feature stories we’ve written about them.
Because my staff and freelance writers have always done such a great job writing these Business Feature stories, I certainly could understand why those businesses were proud to have our masthead and the stories we worked hard to create displayed on their walls.
But, yours truly? Not so much.
I just couldn’t understand why those businesses wouldn’t just ask me if I could create plaques for them, since my hyperlocal business was the one that did the interviews, took the pictures, wrote, edited, published and directly mailed those stories to tens of thousands of their neighbors — and virtually all of those stories brought those businesses in new customers and stimulated interest in their businesses that they never had before.
Instead, a big part of the reason they never thought to ask me was because there have been businesses out there — at least two that I know of (more on them below) — who (originally) would purchase a subscription to the Neighborhood News and send those businesses proofs of the stories that we sweat blood to create in order to sell them those plaques.
The more of these plaques I’ve seen in those offices, restaurants and retail establishments — and there have been hundreds of them I’ve seen personally over the years — the more my blood boiled. Plus, we made it even easier on these not-local businesses to use our work to create those plaques by posting electronic versions of every New Tampa and Wesley Chapel edition of our publications on our website.
I was at one of my advertiser’s locations when my blood boiled over. Although that advertiser admitted that she “wasn’t sure” if the person from the company that reprinted our work on the plaque at her office represented their company as being “affiliated” with us, she was under the impression they were and went ahead and spent nearly $200 to have them create the plaque that so ticked me off.
The two companies who seem to be lying in wait for us every time we publish a new issue are “That’s Great News” and “In The News” and I have had words with the local sales reps for both companies, because whether or not it’s illegal for them to use our published content without our permission (it’s not), I am tired of them using our masthead, logo and content we work so hard to publish to make money in a business that we could do ourselves. And, I’ve warned both companies that the time was coming when I would do just that.
Well, that time is now. I want all of our advertisers and readers to know that you no longer have to utilize either of these two companies to preserve our business, dining and news stories — and we will even do it for less!
The plaque (right) preserving the Dining Feature story about Acropolis Greek Taverna that appears on pgs. 38-39 of this issue is the first sample of what we can and hope to do for everyone who wants to display our work.
We offer a variety of plaque and border colors and have the ability to modify the story to fit on any size plaque to fit in any space you have on your wall. And, you don’t have to be a current advertiser to have a plaque created. We guarantee professional work direct from its source and 100% satisfaction.
To order your plaque of any story from any issue of Neighborhood News, email me at ads@NTNeighborhoodNews.com.