Inside LINK: Why didn’t I get my LINK Reader?

Lacy Starling
Lacy Starling
Lacy is the president and CEO of LINK nky. Email her at [email protected]

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Inside LINK is a weekly column from our CEO, Lacy Starling. If you have questions you’d like Lacy to answer, email her at [email protected].

I’ve written before in this space about why we chose to create a print paper, and how important the experience of everyone in the NKY Metro receiving the same news, at the same time, is to our mission.

We chose to create a print product to unify the region around a moment, once every two months, when a conversation is started by LINK, and hopefully continued by the community.

But what if that experience doesn’t happen? What if some areas get the LINK Reader on the 1st of the month, and other areas have to wait until the 10th? Or worse, what if some neighborhoods don’t get it at all?

There’s no way to sugarcoat it – it stinks. There’s no email I hate getting more than the one asking “When is (Walton, Silver Grove, Cold Spring, Southgate) going to get our paper?” Even worse is when we are accused of skipping a neighborhood or purposely leaving them out of our distribution.

I promise that’s not the case. We’re simply experiencing the same struggle as anyone using the US Postal Service right now, a struggle the Postal Service itself is experiencing – there aren’t enough postal workers.

LINK pays the Postal Service for a service called Every Door Direct Mail. That means we don’t have to print individual addresses on each paper – the postal carriers simply put our paper in every single mailbox on their route. And we pay handsomely for this service – the postage for every print edition LINK mails is nearly $30,000.

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But the labor shortage affecting just about every business in America right now has not left the USPS unscathed. Many routes in NKY no longer have assigned carriers – they are either being covered by substitutes, or a carrier covering two routes in one day. One of our Editorial Board members, who lives in Newport, says his postal carrier works from six in the morning until nine at night, every day, delivering two routes on foot.

Those overworked carriers are the ones who get to decide what day they’ll be taking our paper out on the route to deliver. If they have a particularly heavy day with First-Class mail, they might decide to leave the papers until the next day. Or the next. Or maybe, once enough days have passed, they might decide to not deliver them at all.

Obviously, that’s not the outcome we want. We want (and pay for) every household in NKY to receive the LINK Reader. So we’ve also been working overtime, meeting with local Postmasters and postal staff, explaining to them the importance of delivering our paper.

Additionally, we’re very excited to announce that we are now partnering with the Boone, Kenton and Campbell County Libraries so that they can serve as distribution points for the paper, too. So if you didn’t get a paper at home, you can always stop by the library and pick one up. (And while you are there, check out everything else the library has to offer.)

The next issue of the LINK Reader hits mailboxes starting July 5.

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