by Melanie Jongsma, Managing Editor
LANSING, Ill. (November 20, 2020) – For the past several years, when The Lansing Journal produced a print edition at the beginning of each month, we used the United State Post Office to deliver those printed newspapers to most homes in Lansing. The USPS has a program called Every Door Direct Mail that is cheaper than regular mail—however, we also found it to be less reliable.
Our plans for the December issue include delivering a copy to every residential address in Lansing—including apartments and condos. But we decided to use Chicagoland Circulation Services, not the US mail.
A team of distributors will walk through Lansing neighborhoods and toss a Lansing Journal on each doorstep, or in the entry area of apartments and condos. The newspapers will be in plastic bags, in case of inclement weather.
And we have been specifically promised that those plastic bags will land on porches. Not sidewalks. Not driveways. Porches.
In a clear plastic bag
We also asked Chicagoland Circulation Services to deliver The Lansing Journal in a clear plastic bag, not the pink, orange, or red ones that have littered Lansing neighborhoods recently. Not only do we want our bagged newspaper to look different from the others, but we want recipients to SEE that it’s The Lansing Journal inside.
By December 2
Our original plan was to have the newspapers printed on Monday, November 30, and picked up on Tuesday, December 1, for delivery in Lansing on Wednesday and Thursday, December 2 and 3. In confirming arrangements with Blue Island Newspaper Printing (in Harvey, Illinois), we learned they have a lot of new jobs lined up that Monday. (Blue Island has taken on a lot of customers who used to be served by Park Press in South Holland and LithoType in Lansing, both of which are no longer in business.)
So Blue Island asked if we could have our files ready and uploaded by Friday, November 27, the day after Thanksgiving. We checked with Chicagoland Circulation Services, and they were willing to adjust their schedule, so we adjusted ours.
Josh and I will spend this next week writing new articles, selecting previously published articles, finalizing ads, laying out 20 pages, proofreading them (probably), and then generating a high-resolution, newsprint-ready PDF that we can upload to Blue Island’s FTP site by 6:30am Friday. That will give their pre-press team time to ensure we’ve correctly met their specs before they let the presses roll. They will finish printing 13,000 copies sometime Friday. The distributors will pick up most of those Monday morning, with porch delivery in Lansing scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, November 30 and December 1.
A community project
The Lansing Journal is free newspaper, but making it isn’t. We’ve been able to undertake this enormous project because of (1) enthusiastic advertisers who have a message to share with Lansing readers, and (2) generous supporters who value the community coverage we provide. It’s not too late to pitch in:
Sign up as a monthly supporter of community news
Give an occasional gift to help cover costs
We are excited to see porch delivery of printed copies of The Lansing Journal soon—and we appreciate your support in making that happen!