HHere comes KisstheBrideNW.com.
Sometimes the obvious can provide paid content home runs for our newspaper properties. Ask yourself this question: During what life stages or around what milestone events do people spend money?
Check out the digital television lineup for hints:
Platinum Weddings. Bridezillas. Say Yes to the Dress. Four Weddings. Masters of Reception. My Fair Wedding with David Tutera. Amazing Wedding Cakes. And my personal (and admittedly dark) favorite: I Married a Stranger.
Yes, weddings are a big deal, whether the guest list is four or 400.
And newspapers have always recognized this. Here at The Spokesman-Review, it was our practice to publish through the editorial department a set word-count, templated wedding announcement with a photo. We ran engagement announcements, too, but no photos with those. These offerings were free, though most brides-to-be entered our offices with checkbooks open, wondering how much the announcements would cost.
We heard from many brides who wondered why they couldn't publish an engagement picture. They wondered why they couldn't write their own free-form copy, with details they chose versus fill-in-the blanks like “the bride is employed at XYZ widget-makers.” Our publication cycle for announcements was less than timely, with announcements running on a space-available basis.
Bridal industry statistics indicate the average American wedding carries close to a $29,000 price tag. Surely there was a way for us to help brides share their news in their community's newspaper of record - and for us to make some new revenue, too.
As the promotional material notes, KissTheBrideNW.com, a newly launched online and print offering from our digital development team, invites brides to “tell their stories in a big way.”
$24.99 gets a bride's engagement and wedding announcements — with photos — in the Wednesday newspaper and online at KissTheBrideNW.com. On-the-site brides can blog, share registry information and add photo galleries. The site also features etiquette advice, Q&A with a local wedding planner, and resources for advertisers who want to reach local brides.
A popular local columnist will attend four local weddings each month and write a personalized account of each event, exclusively on KissTheBrideNW.com. And, now through January 9, 2011, on the site, brides can enter to win a fabulous Pavilion Package Giveaway, which includes complimentary use of The Spokesman-Review's rooftop pavilion, a wedding cake, photography and other bridal items valued at $6,000.
An additional feature is a soon-to-be completed self-serve online ad program on the site. Our thought is that non-advertisers such as florists, DJs, limo services and other small businesses will find the site a good entry point into the newspaper's family of digital and print products. In three easy steps they'll be able to create their ad, target it across several Spokesman-Review web sites and pay via credit card.
As with all unions, time will tell.
But we think we've got a winner with this marriage of old (print) and new (digital), with real-time (roof-top pavilion) thrown in — because who doesn't love a good party?