It’s a new year and of course, a time for new beginnings. At Access Press, we’re looking at some change as well.
We said farewell to our longtime delivery firm, Independent Delivery Service or IDS, at year’s end. We’d worked off and on with IDS over the years to do what are called “bundle drops.” Bundle drops are when a delivery person or service leaves papers at a specific location.
Unfortunately for us and for many other community papers, IDS lost a major delivery account and was forced to shut down abruptly. We send good thoughts to those who lost work. We are also thinking of many of our community paper colleagues, who must also find new delivery service providers.
Many of the Twin Cities’ remaining community and neighborhood papers deliver door to door as well as have bundle drops. That takes a different type of delivery firm than we need.
With a change in delivery service comes a chance to make changes in where we deliver Access Press. We will continue to mail papers to Greater Minnesota and do Twin Cities area bundle drops. But we’d like to hear from you, our readers.
Are there public places where we should be leaving papers? Are there places where copies of our papers go untouched? We’d like to know.
We welcome suggestions but be aware of one consideration.
Fewer and fewer places allow free newspapers to be dropped off. That’s a trend we’ve followed for the past few decades. Papers and fliers get messy, and one careless person can cause every paper to get banned from a location.
In the early 1990s, we had this concern of clutter used against free papers. A company came to town and sold exclusive rack space in stores. Neighborhood and community papers were kicked out of dozens of locations, unless we opted to buy space on the racks. That even happened in stores where management had asked that specific papers be delivered. Many small papers lacked the financial resources to pay for rack space everywhere.
Back then we had an active Neighborhood and Community Press Association. We also had two large alternative weeklies at the time, City Pages and Twin Cities Reader. The association and those larger papers worked to pass a state law that prevented us from being banned by such rack companies.
The law didn’t prevent businesses from opting out of having free papers left there and we respected that. But we wanted business owners and managers to have a say and not have to force everyone to buy a shelf on a rack.
But over time, rack space has gone away – just as many papers have.
With a change in our delivery company, we are looking at a bundle drop reset. Contact me with questions and suggestions at [email protected].