The long-term strike that’s brought the South African Post Office to a standstill has led to high levels of frustration among magazine publishers and subscribers. In an effort to minimise this frustration, the publishers of TREAD – Mountain Biking With Soul magazine, have couriered Issue 31 to subscribers.
“With no control over this strike we decided to be proactive and send this issue via courier to all subscribers,” said Mark Rieth, Director of Umoya Group Pty Ltd, the company that publishes TREAD magazine, South Africa’s leading mountain biking publication. “We made a digital version of TREAD magazine available on Zinio in June this year and found a number of former hard-copy subscribers committing to the digital edition. These were readers that had been affected by previous SA Post Office strikes,” added Rieth.But the bulk of TREAD’s subscribers are still committed to the hard copy version and were in danger of not receiving Issue 31 with the postal service shut-down.
“We’ve developed a good relationship with Aramex over the past six months with our various other delivery needs and decided to explore the courier option with them for subscription copies. It’s a far higher cost to us than standard postage, but we consider our subscribers to be our most important clients and feel that it’s more an investment than a cost,” said Rieth.
There appears to be no obvious resolution of the SA Postal Service crisis, despite ongoing discussion about the situation at national government level. “Even if the strike ends this week, the backlog will take ages to clear. And there’s always a chance of future strikes. Because of this uncertainty, we are looking at alternative methods of hard-copy subscriber delivery on a permanent basis. It’s really what every magazine should be doing right now. No publication can afford to wait – their subscribers deserve their resourcefulness,” added Rieth.
TREAD magazine is published six times year and is focussed specifically on South African mountain biking content. It is sold at CNA, Exclusive Books, SPAR and discerning bike shops throughout South Africa.