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Will you be publisher of The Greensheet?

A lot has happened at The Greensheet in the past few months, and if you’re someone who picks up this paper each week, or a few times a month, I’d like to steal of few minutes of your time to tell you about another big change that will happen after the first of the year.

For almost 50 years, The Greensheet has been a publication that brought you an array of business opportunities. No matter if you were buying or selling, you had the chance to find wonderful products within our pages.

Over the past decade, though, the way we shop has changed dramatically. You’ll see hundreds and hundreds of classified in our pages in each, but once upon a time, there used to be thousands upon thousands of classifieds on our pages.

We won’t be naïve and pretend that trend will change any time soon – if ever – because we know people use Craig’s List and Facebook to market many of their smaller items.

Over five decades, The Greensheet has been built upon the readership value of these classified ads. Even today, more than 300,000 people pick up a copy of this paper to read through those ads and look for products and services our advertisers offer each week.

Our company, which bought The Greensheet in September, has made a decision to study the best use of the pages we print each week, and we’re going to ask a lot of our readers to pitch in with ideas.

Starting in January, we’ve hired a company that will begin sending surveyors to locations all across the Greater Houston region to begin asking you – our readers – questions. The questions will be simple, and they absolutely will not be personal. Instead, we’re going to ask you to help us rebuild The Greensheet with a new focus on content.

However, I also want you to know that you don’t have to wait to be interviewed at a gas station or grocery store to become part of the conversation. Each week, I publish my email address at the end of this column because I find it an honor to hear from the people who read our paper each week.

When our survey company hits the streets in a few weeks, they’re going to ask people like you if there’s any sort of content you’d like us to add to our pages each week. The reason we’re asking this question is because we want to do a better job of serving people who go out of their way to pick up a paper.

So I’ll ask the question first, with the hope that you’ll send me a note if you have ideas: If you could begin reading stories in The Greensheet, what kind of content would interest you?

Would you like to read about ways to get a better job? What about stories on buying new or used cars, with easy ways to finance them? What about crime across the Greater Houston area? Or what about stories on local businesses?

We’re in the infancy stage of our plan to create a new Greensheet, and the reason we’re doing it is because we think our readers would enjoy a product that included must-read information each week. Meanwhile, we can sit around our office each week and act like we’re smart, or we can directly ask you the same question.

If you have ideas or thoughts you want to share, please, please send me an email at the address below. And if you happen to be picking up a copy after the New Year, and you see someone standing by a rack of papers, please take a moment to talk with the surveyor.

We believe The Greensheet has a long life yet – no matter what you hear about newspapers these days. In order to remain a product that readers anticipate each week, we know we need to listen to you.

 

Email jmcelvy@thegreensheet.com

Jonathan McElvy