Reimagining the Holidays: Why Not a Magazine?

16 Nov Reimagining the Holidays: Why Not a Magazine?


The challenge: As in many small towns, retailers in Clinton, Oklahoma

watch in frustration as local holiday shoppers drive off to a bigger city for Black Friday shopping sprees.

The idea: Publish a glossy 8 1/2 x 11 magazine, a first for the newspaper,

in early November with advertisers united behind a strong “Home for the Holidays” theme

The content solution: Content That Works’ “Holiday Decorating”

Revenue: “Let’s just say I’m very, very happy,” says Rod Serfoss, publisher, Clinton Daily News

View the Clinton Daily News’ 2015 ‘Home for the Holidays’ magazine

Publisher Rod Serfoss has millions of dollars invested in newspaper printing equipment in downtown Clinton, Oklahoma. The idea of producing a glossy holiday magazine and shipping off the pages to be printed out of town “took a bit to wrap my arms around,” says Serfoss. He’s glad he did.

“Home for the Holidays,” the Clinton Daily News’ first-ever glossy magazine, was a huge hit with advertisers. Published Nov. 4, 2015, with an eye on catching the eyes of holiday shoppers early, the 56-page magazine provided a big revenue boost.

Serfoss credits the novelty of the magazine for part of the success. But it was the Clinton-centric strategy that sealed the deal. “Where we live it’s a big deal for folks to go to Oklahoma City to shop,” Serfoss says. “We titled the magazine ‘Home for the Holidays,’ published early and talked about the importance of reaching out to persuade shoppers to spend money in Clinton first.

“It had tremendous appeal to our merchants,” Serfoss says. “They liked the color, they liked the format. It was new and unique.”

The broad base of advertisers the magazine attracted surprised Serfoss: “We had a winery, the lumber yard, audio stores, you name it.” Beyond the holiday regulars such as gift stores, furniture and appliance stores and Chambers of Commerce, the magazine brought in ads from four banks, an auction house, the Route 66 Museum, a university and a pest control firm (“Unwanted Holiday Guests? Don’t Let This Guy Ruin Your Holiday Plans!”

Serfoss says he would not have attempted the project without Content That Works. The 3,800-circulation newspaper in Clinton, Oklahoma, publishes five days a week.

“I don’t have the editorial staff to take on a project like this. CTW content is high quality and the page layouts are easy to modify into the magazine format. CTW provided the groundwork that enabled us to produce a top-quality product that we never visualized we could do.”

The takeaway for Serfoss? “Good salespeople, good vision and good product all team up to make things work.”