AS most of you know, my husband and I have been working on a new business venture after leaving News Ltd and a career in newspapers working for The Man (in this case, Rupert Murdoch). I’m thrilled to unveil that plan today. It is Waiting Room News – a compact, free weekly news sheet for the waiting room. Any waiting room. The GP, dentist, radiologist, pathologist – we go into all these waiting rooms.
Waiting Room News is designed to replace stale reading material stocked in waiting rooms, and give people something fresh and interesting to read. We are a solution to a problem. Practice managers have traditionally struggled to keep the reading material current and, have really struggled to stock reading material that men want to read. This is a solution to that problem. And it’s free!
Waiting Room News features a broad range of interesting news bites, across the topics of world, national and business news, along with celebrity gossip and health and IT news – something for everyone!
The news, distilled to the best bits
Nick curates the best bits of the week’s news, using his 20 years in newspapers to find the most interesting and compelling news every week. We also feature odd spots. For example, did you know the Malaysian word for water is ‘air’? Yup.
We’ve been going for 14 weeks now and we’ve sold our first ads. Our front page was snapped up by Harvey Norman Aspley and the thrill of that first sale is a euphoria that is almost indescribable. Earning an income from a product you create yourself is unbelievably exciting.
Solving problems and loving it
I’m enjoying my new role as business development manager. I find solutions for people’s problems. Using the skills I have developed over the past 20 years, my knowledge and understanding of online marketing, of newspaper advertising and of the advertising industry in general (thanks to years writing for national ad mag B&T Weekly!) I am able to create solutions to marketing problems and help clients build their brand and their business. It’s really exciting and much more rewarding than I could have possibly anticipated.
Gosh, you’re lovely
And I love our product. It’s a wonderful product. Every week I go into waiting rooms and speak to practice managers who tell me what a sensational idea it is.
“I’ve been watching, and I’ve seen the customers pick up Waiting Room News first, before anything else,” said our newest practice manager last Friday. “It’s great!” she said.
I get that a lot.
Build it, and they will read
I approached a practice manager a few weeks ago, who was in charge of a large practice of specialists in Nundah. The practice was about to move and she was so enthralled with the concept that she wanted to advertise with us to promote the move to all their patients.
We have delivered free stands to all our waiting rooms so that the news sheet can be displayed prominently. It’s visible as soon as you walk in the door, in most places. And people are reading it. The feedback we’re getting is that people really are reading it.
The shock of the new
But it’s not all peaches and cream. It’s a new concept so that takes some explaining. And when people don’t understand an idea instantly their instinct is to retreat to safe ground, which is a ‘no’. There’s no risk with a ‘no’ response. I wrote about one such no response recently.
So I spend a lot of my time explaining how it works and how it can be free for people to subscribe. And I think my batting average is pretty good. I’ve had 40 yes responses and just four no responses. I think that’s a pretty good average.
And those four no responses are only a no for the moment. I’m confident that once our publication gains a greater public profile and people know to look for us, I’ll be able to return to those four no people and turn them into yes people!
Mountains to climb
And that’s our next challenge – raising our profile. We want to become so well-known that people look for us when they go to the GP. And if we’re not there, we want them to ask – “Excuse me, where’s your Waiting Room News?”. That’s a tall order for a new publication put out by a Wavell Heights husband and wife team who are also raising a family. But we’re all about the tall orders and the big achievements here at chez Moore. I’m driven to succeed in a way I never have been before when working for a salary. Motivated.
Hey everybody, look at me!
We’re online and we’re promoting our product – and our advertiser’s products – through our social media channels. We believe in marketing, in the power of advertising and we know that our publication is a great way to connect with Brisbane northsiders. We are using blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, among other channels, to promote ourselves and our advertisers.
Turning 40 this year
It’s scary when you start a new venture like this. Nick and I have always had the safety of a salaried job behind us, and so for us to be going solo like this… well, when I think about it, it kind of takes my breath away. But the unshakeable belief that this is a great idea, along with all the positive feedback we’ve received, has helped steady the nerves.