We're working on the November Show Issue right now, preparing it for the printer, and a thought that's in my brain and I can't get it out is the fact that it's 386 pages. It may be a misuse of blogging etiquette, but I have a real sense of pride right now in the accomplishments of PRI, and the way the racing industry is pulling together in these challenging times.
Last year's Show Issue was 306 pages. This year's Show Issue will be 80 pages larger. About half of that is from our decision to insert the Guide To Orlando, but another 40 pages comes from the increased activity of racing marketers in advertising in the Show Issue.
It seems much more than a matter of revenue for PRI. It took a heck of a lot of work on the part of our sales team to have conversations with roughly 400 companies that resulted in an advertisement in the Show Issue. The folks on our sales team are great people to talk to, and some of them have relationships with their customers that are over a decade long, now. People are ultra-careful in how they spend their money these days, and they expect our sales team to give them a sense of confidence in spending marketing dollars in a display advertisement in PRI magazine. It's a pretty intense, complicated conversation. With 400 companies, it resulted in a positive answer. That's a big deal.
As far as I can tell, there's no publication or form of media with this many performance racing companies advertising their products.
There's also a sense that the November Show Issue is a good sign for the racing industry. I've heard several times recently, from publishing industry sources and non-publishng sources, that advertising expenditures should actually go up in a recession. The companies that do this, along with good products and good customer service, will come out of a tough economy with a greater share of the market. I think the pages and pages of creative advertisements in the Show Issue is a good indication that a lot of racing companies are maintaining an aggressive stance.
It's a sign that the racing industry just wants to be on the throttle. And I think it's that kind of racer approach to life that is such a powerful force in this dynamic industry.
And I'm very appreciative that all of these companies understand that close connection PRI magazine has with its readers. We've got great writers, and a crack editorial team, to go and get the 'big picture' views on the racing industry, and the result is engaged readership and, consequently, advertising. PRI readers typically spend over an hour with each issue, return to each issue several times, and save each issue almost 7 months.
As I write this, there are great print publications that have disappeared, including newspapers and racing publications. I've heard more than once the phrase, "Print is dead." I never believed it. There's a comfort and ease to a magazine that makes it better than the Internet experience if you want to reflect on something as complicated as your own business.
So, I'm yelling out, "Hell yeah, 386 pages!"