October 16, 2019

Overheard at Kroger: Don't Make Me Wait for My Flagpole

Pub Notes

Reader: Hey!

Publisher: Huh?

R: You’re running late with those Flagpoles.

P: Yeah. I’m not the regular guy.

R: I do my grocery shopping at Kroger every Tuesday evening after work. If Flagpole’s not here, it messes up my whole week.

P: A lady told me the same thing at Bell’s.

R: You should listen.

P: Sometimes the printer runs a little late.

R: How long have y’all been doing this?

P: Uh, it will be 32 years next week.

R: Seems like long enough to figure out how to get it here on time.

P: Well, we deliver Flagpole to over 350 locations.

R: I hope they’re not all running late like you are. You’re going to be in trouble with your boss. Flagpole is always here when I come shopping at Kroger. That’s a gigantic stack you leave.

P: Kroger accounts for a big chunk of Flagpole distribution. A lot of people are like you and pick one up after they buy their groceries, whenever that is. The same is true at Bell’s. Bell’s supermarkets move a lot of Flagpoles, too, and all those other locations are vital to our circulation.

R: So, they’re doing Flagpole readers a service.

P: Yes, and themselves, too. You’re always glad to find your Flagpole where you shop or eat or hang out.

R: Y’all are kind of like partners?

P: Yep. We depend on the businesses that distribute Flagpole, and their customers depend on Flagpole being there. It’s win-win.

R: Unless you’re running late. Say, I saw something on Facebook about supermarkets cutting out their publications racks because they don’t think print matters anymore.

P: It’s true that it is happening in some places, but so far, not here in Athens. Anybody who thinks print isn’t important ought to watch that Kroger rack for a while and see all those people like you grab their Flagpoles.

R: I read Flagpole online, too, but that’s no substitute for holding it in my hands and leafing through it. I always find more in it that way than I do online.

P: That’s what the free-circulation model is built on. Getting the paper out to as many readers as possible. Gets results for advertisers, too.

R: How can they say print doesn’t matter, when Flagpole has become the main source of news about everything from local government to the school system to the music scene? And you even have football. Sorry! Didn’t mean to make you wince.

P: Rodrigo! .

R: Well, I can tell you this: If I couldn’t get my Flagpole at my Kroger, I would be thoroughly inconvenienced. It’s a part of my routine.

P: We’re all that way. We get our Flagpole at our grocery store or our package store or our favorite restaurant. Wherever, it’s part of our routine, and we don’t like to change. 

R: Say, mister: How do you know so much about Flagpole?

P: Long story. 

R: Well, keep ’em coming. I can’t do without Flagpole.

P: Good newspapers become a part of their communities, and the businesses that distribute them attract a lot of good will.

R: You sound like you might have a future in the newspaper business.

P: I hope so.