Win a free, sweetheart pizza

Commentary by
Jeff Burgar

There are few, very, very few sweethearts in Northern Alberta!

Bold statement. I hope it isn’t true. But did you take your honey out for dinner last week? Bought flowers or candies, or both? A pox on you if you didn’t.

But back to the news. Our newspapers cover this part of the land, from the Smoky River in the west to Smith eastward. From Wabasca and Red Earth north and south to Swan Hills, Flatbush and Valleyview. In that stretch of land. maybe about 40,000 people live.

They don’t seem to like each other in that boy-girl, male-female, or boy-boy girl-girl, or even mom-son-daughter or dad-son-daughter way we come to associate with our dearly beloved Valentine’s Day. No sweethearts. Not even friends.

We come to that startling conclusion because of three internet websites serving this region. They are big enough sites. Together, they get over 3,500 visits per day. That’s more than 105,000 per month!

The websites belong to three local newspapers, including this one. If you were one of those visitors, you might have noticed ads about posting a Valentine to your sweetie or loved one. The ads are still there in fact, right now.

Actually, the method of sending a Valentine was clumsy. One had to fill out a contact form. Also, there were no examples what your Valentine would look like. We did put up examples last week.

All said, it was not a good selling job. But, it was free! Just a minute or two of your time and presto! we would do all the work. Did we say, free? Let’s repeat that. FREE! We got one taker. Blech!

Is there an explanation?

Well, we already said we made it hard to collect Valentines. Which is sort of, saying, out of those 100,000 visits, only one was smart enough to make a post. Really?

We also did a poor job promoting Valentines in the newspapers themselves. Like, nothing. Which is really like saying, if you want to promote or sell something online, use a newspaper. Funny, eh?

How about the websites doesn’t reach the “right people,” those inclined to send Valentines. Out of over 100,000 visits, what does it take to have a dozen or two of the “right people” in there? Sheesh.

Last year, this same promotion got around sixty Valentines. Did the novelty wear off? Maybe. Are Valentines just for “Millennials,” “Gen Xers” or “Facebookers?” Maybe. That’s an argument that really means there are ideas for one group of people over there. And different ideas for a different group over here. Which means there isn’t just one good way of doing things. Like having alcohol at a party, and only serving vodka. Or running a restaurant, with only steak on the menu. Running a government, and telling people what you do only in your own flyer. Selling trucks, but you only get regular cabs in black. Which is very true.

We’re running the Valentine deal again. See us online. Win a pizza. Split with your sweetie. Or cat, dog or yourself. Still free.


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