Today marks the start of December and, we hope, the start of the biggest month our little business has seen.
To help make that and much more happen in the coming weeks, months and years, we've hired Hunter Homistek as full-time director of content marketing. He's a terrific talent with boundless energy and, maybe best of all, he's been a subscriber and reader since launch, so he's been a believer in the product for a long time.
Hunter's first day on the job is Monday. My wife Dali has more about his hiring just below this entry, and you'll hear from Hunter himself Monday morning.
Being blunt here: This month needs to be big every year, so we're thinking big. And for 2018, because we're offering a wonderful product with our gift subscriptions for the first time, we're thinking really big.
That means ... 600 gift subscriptions.
Which means, of course, 600 of these:
Now, we've never sold that many gift subscriptions -- 581 is the most -- but then, that was without us attaching anything to the offer. This year, we're offering 'Cartoon Canon: An Illustrated History of Pittsburgh Sports,' a beautiful coffee-table-style assembly of 53 of staff artist Rob Ullman's finest pieces — to anyone buying a gift subscription at zero additional charge. The shipping is free, too.
Oh, and there is not much time: To guarantee getting the book for Christmas, an order has to be submitted by Dec. 13. It's the only way we can be absolutely certain to get it to you by the holiday. That's less than two weeks from now.
Well, one reason is that we hope to top the record. Another is that our book publisher prints 200 at a time, so three printings felt about right. And yet another is that, again, we need this. I've written this in holiday seasons past, but it holds true: Almost 40 percent of our new subscribers for any given year arrive in December. That's an enormous portion of our total and, if it falls short of expectations, it's close to impossible to make up for it in the other 11 months.
Between the sale of 600 books and some other initiatives, we're confident it'll be a great December, maybe our best. That's certainly where our collective effort is going.
[caption id="attachment_728937" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Hunter Homistek - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]
WELCOME, HUNTER HOMISTEK!
Dejan mentioned our hiring of Hunter Homistek above, and I just want to add how excited I am to bring someone like him aboard.
His title will be Director of Content Marketing, and that will cover a lot of ground. He'll be at events, he'll write, he'll shoot videos and, above all, he'll get our material out to people through all of our own means plus social media and other avenues. That's what he did in covering/marketing mixed martial arts at his previous job, and he did so with great results.
As Dejan mentioned above, Hunter will write his own introduction for Monday, his first official day with us.
This hire will come with the added benefit of more Penguins/NHL content from Taylor Haase, which I'm equally excited about, in addition to all her current minor-league coverage. -- Dali Kovacevic
UPDATED TV AD
Our TV commercial, created two years ago by our friends at Mount Washington-based Phenomenon Post, has been our anchor for the past two years. We've had to make changes to some of the visual elements to update headlines, logos and reporters, of course, but the essence is the same.
Here's the newest version, completed just this week, airing before tonight's Penguins-Flyers game on AT&T SportsNet:
• After yet another rough half-day tech-wise earlier in the week, we found the actual specific cause with help from our friends at Build In Motion, and it's been fixed. The issue, for those of you with background in this area, was an overload of queries out front. -- DK
• In that same spirit, we persisted in seeking out immediate solutions for greater speed on the app's home page, and we're very confident you'll see that right now. Even more by Monday or Tuesday, once I have time to take care of a couple more things. -- DK
• Can't stress this enough, but use the app. It's where we put almost all of our tech resources, it's got the best version of our Live Feed, and it's free:
SEEKING BUSINESS PARTNERS
Currently available for sponsorships: (Some) Steelers, (some) Penguins, Pitt, Duquesne, Penn State, West Virginia, Carter's Classroom, Friday Insider, Stats 'N' At, Wilkes-Barre Watch and Wheeling Watch. This is our media kit. If you're interested in connecting with our large, passionate following, email me at Dali@DKPittsburghSports.com. -- Dali Kovacevic
BACK TO BUSINESS
• Subscriptions are at 37,399. That's minus-52 over the past week.
• We had 420,757 page views over the past week, hit hard by the two outages. Our most-hit article -- exempting live files -- was DK's column on the Penguins' goaltending from Denver at 7,978. The Penguins accounted for 74,539 of our page views, the Steelers 62,841, the Pirates 20,019, Pitt 18,742, Penn State 5,119, West Virginia 4,158, Duquesne 3,485, and all the rest were below 1,000.
• We're at 29,223 (+6) page likes on Facebook, we're at 29,096 (+35) followers on Twitter, and we're at 9,084 (+22) followers on Instagram. These figures are just for our official company account on each platform, not for us as individuals.
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