In 2016, we launched our Sunday magazine to thank LNP’s daily newspaper subscribers for supporting local journalism. The story of the Sunday project illustrates how a simple idea from the past can draw new fans.
To make Sunday a success, we kept its content fiercely local with crisp storytelling, smart design, and beautiful photography. Our intent was to create a reading experience that would complement the Sunday newspaper. To bolster our connection to the community and the local maker movement, we decided to print Sunday locally in Lancaster County.
While our subscribers get news, features, commentary, and analysis from the Sunday newspaper, the Sunday weekly magazine was meant to create a moment: a lean-back experience to be shared with others or collected for its great photographs and stories.
More than 60,000 copies are inserted into Sunday editions of the newspaper each week. And while it surprises some, Sunday is not available in the single-copy editions or separately at newsstands. None of its content is available online, and it doesn’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. It’s meant to be an exclusive, value-added bonus for our subscribers.
The payoff? Our long-time readers are delighted. “Best thing the newspaper has done,” wrote one reader. “It’s worth the cost of the newspaper!” After the launch, we found out that many newcomers to Lancaster County read Sunday to learn more about the region’s history and people. This was a bonus audience for us.
We continue to hear great feedback. A recent survey of LNP’s newspaper subscribers asked how often they read Sunday. A whopping seven out of 10 subscribers said they read the magazine every week. An additional one out of 10 said they read it a few times each month. We’re proud of those results.
We want to keep these fans happy by adding valuable new content to their newspaper subscriptions. In each edition of Sunday, we assemble a blend of stories that provide a reading experience with a weekend pace. The magaine routinely includes:
- A Q&A with an artist, educator, business owner, or community leader.
- A look back on the local past with a feature called “Lancaster That Was,” which offers snippets from old newspapers.
- Profiles of local artisans such as furniture makers and jewelers (for these, we add a “Proudly Made Here” logo).
- A handmade word-search puzzle inspired by Lancaster County people, places, and traditions.
- Reader-generated content such as local bird sightings, haiku poetry, or old photographs.
For their part, advertisers are taking advantage of this new, glossy, widely circulated publication to reach new customers every week. Businesses featuring home décor or landscaping services, in particular, have benefited from the high-end presentation.
Sunday is a rock-solid expression of our commitment to print and those who love it.