In my last report, I mentioned about doing the same job in publishing with less money because of the financial problems we have at the moment.
A reduction in the Plain Truth newsstand program would be very serious indeed if we didn't replace the loss with something else, because over 60% of all new people who come into contact with this Work, at the moment, come from the Plain Truth newsstand program. Therefore, a cut in this program would mean a cut in our growth.
We have now had approved what many of us feel is a great solution to the problem of adding the same number of new names to the PT list each month at much less cost.
At the moment we print and distribute approximately one million 32-page PT's on the newsstands, the vast majority of which are picked up and read by people who never write in for a free subscription. (Why should they when they can get their magazines each month from the newsstand.) This vast group are not regular readers and are slow to get involved because we have no way of corresponding with them through the mails and exposing them to the Subscriber Services Program.
We feel the solution is to put out a 16-page mini or condensed magazine. This will carry heavily-edited articles presented in a way designed to "whet their appetite" and encourage readers to send that reply card in and become a subscriber In other words, to find out more.
This 16-page condensed Plain Truth is a change in concept from a magazine to promotional brochure. It would carry a regular two-page section repeated every month designed to overcome the new reader's fears and objections about becoming a subscriber and getting on our mailing list. By this method, we all feel that we will see an increase in response.
This 16-page PT would enable us to distribute a quantity of 600,000 magazines but at around half the cost to meet our budget cuts. Both Richard ,Rice and Brian Knowles feel this idea is potentially a winner because it keeps those new readers coming in.
Some church areas will be asked to cut the number of magazines they receive each month. You will all receive a letter detailing the new program which we feel will increase our response. That's what the main purpose of the program is after all — to get a response.