The Post and Courier Celebrates its 220th Anniversary

220 Years of Commitment to the Community

Thanks to the support of countless subscribers and the partnership of local and national businesses over the years, The Post and Courier celebrated its 220th anniversary on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. 

As the South’s oldest daily newspaper, first as The (Charleston) Courier and later The News and Courier, the publication has been a staple of the community here in the Charleston area since 1803. Over the years, the paper’s coverage has included stories about business, politics, food, entertainment and local interests. It also shed light on critical public service and investigative topics, with projects including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning “Till Death Do Us Part”, the Education Lab, and The Greenland Connection. Beginning in 2021, it brought to print the Uncovered series which works in partnership with 18 community newspapers in SC to reveal corruption and misdeeds among public officials.

However, this longstanding commitment to impactful journalism is not the only thing to be celebrated this year. As The Post and Courier enters this 220th year, the paper’s history and success are shared with many of the companies who also call South Carolina home. 

“Readers have relied on The Post and Courier for editorial and advertising content for years,” says President and Publisher PJ Browning. “Because of our commitment to quality journalism and our deep roots in the community, advertising in the newspaper and on our website has become a trusted and reliable investment. Advertising is a valuable piece of the content we provide and helps keep people informed of new businesses in the area, sales, and events.”

The Post and Courier has established itself as a lasting part of people’s daily lives both in the tri-county area and throughout the state. This makes the paper a valuable resource for businesses to reach potential and returning customers.

Chief Opportunity & Marketing Officer, Chris Zoeller, shares that “maintaining a balance of great, meaningful journalism alongside long-term partnerships with advertisers makes The Post and Courier an important source of value for readers and businesses alike.”

It’s a special thing to see advertisers in previous editions of The News and Courier still within the pages of The Post and Courier. Zoeller continues, “We want to take this time to not only celebrate our anniversary but also what it means for our partners.” 

What does it mean for a newspaper to last well over 200 years? This longevity represents the intertwined success of the paper and its advertisers because of the dedication to and loyalty from the public.

While the achievement of the 220-year milestone is one to be proud of, it would not have been possible without the continuing relationships between subscribers and advertising partners. For that, there is a lot of gratitude to go around – but, more importantly, an even stronger conviction of the commitment and public service to South Carolina. 

This mission will take The Post and Courier well into the next 200+ years.

 

Croghan’s Valentine’s Day ad in The News and Courier, Thursday, February 13, 1958

 

Croghan’s Mother’s Day ad in The News and Courier, Friday, May 11, 1951

 

Southeastern Galleries ad in The News and Courier, Friday, August 6, 1976

 

 

 

The Fourth Annual BASC 2022 is one for the Record Books

The largest event of its kind in the state, BASC 2022 welcomed a record number of participants to scenic McCormick County, SC

Since its inaugural ride in 2019, Bicycle Across South Carolina (BASC) has invited participants of all ages and abilities to discover the natural beauty of communities across the Palmetto State while connecting with one another. The annual event, hosted by the Post and Courier, consists of a multi-day bicycle ride, plus camping and nightly entertainment and activities, with the goal of bringing together a community of like-minded enthusiasts.

… And BASC 2022 did not disappoint!


Spotlight on McCormick County

From October 13-16, 400 participants from 18 states and Europe descended to the pines and hill country of Sumter National Forest in McCormick County, South Carolina. From the base camp, located at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe (JDLH), participants experienced an adventure of a lifetime, exploring up to 150 miles of beautiful, vast landscapes during one-to-three-day rides. In the evenings, family members, friends, and partners joined riders at the base camp, relaxing around the fire pits and enjoying live music, food, and drinks.

Every year, BASC chooses a different ride location, often highlighting “hidden gems” that may be new to some South Carolinians and out-of-staters. This year, $50,000 was awarded to the event from the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) Undiscovered SC grant program, in support of driving tourism to underrepresented areas.

Several local and national businesses and organizations partnered with the McCormick County Chamber of Commerce and McCormick County Economic Development to make this year’s event possible.


Focus on the Future

The popularity of BASC has the Post and Courier team excited for the future. Chief Opportunity and Marketing Officer Chris Zoeller said riders return year after year and bring more friends and family.

“BASC is unique not only for the full-service experience, but the riders coming together as a community for their common passion of cycling and adventure,” Zoeller said. “Our riders love to see new parts of our beautiful state. And beyond riding, they love sharing their ride with others over a beer, at a campsite, and with local entertainment. They’re like a second family.”

“I’ve become so attached to this event over the past few years and even more so to the tight-knit community surrounding it,” said BASC Director Alison Warburton. “We’re currently working on a long-term plan for BASC, as gravel and off-road rides are becoming more popular in recent years. We’re definitely on the right path and I’m looking forward to BASC 2023!” 

For more information about advertising and sponsorship opportunities, visit our BASC event page.

Small plant blossoms to indicate audience retention and growth

How The Post and Courier is Investing in Marketing to Grow and Retain Audiences

The Post and Courier is always looking for innovative ways to reach new audiences to deliver the news that matters most to South Carolinians. With an ever-evolving digital transformation and rapid expansion across the state, we’re leading the charge in several ways.

First, The Post and Courier is investing in reporters to expand coverage across current markets in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, North Augusta, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head, as well as new markets in Florence and Rock Hill. In addition, The Post and Courier is building a new state-of-the-art printing facility that offers modern and efficient printing to serve our readers and commercial print customers. But behind the scenes, as a versatile multi-media company, we’ve also been investing in our marketing to ensure quality journalism and to meet the needs of local businesses that want to reach our valued audiences.

“Most people might consider The Post and Courier as a legacy media company that has covered Charleston for 200+ years, but really as we transform toward a future in digital and grow our audiences across the state, we really consider ourselves as a 200+-year-old start-up,” said Chris Zoeller, Chief Opportunity and Marketing Officer.

“And to achieve these efforts, we know we need to invest in building a team that can focus on a variety of marketing initiatives to grow and retain our audience. Our readers trust our journalism and advertisers want to be aligned with our readers.”


Paid Digital and Print Audience Growth

As part of the strategy, Claire Linney, a long-time The Post and Courier employee, was named Audience Director, where her main responsibility is to grow paid digital and print audiences. 

“I love being a part of our creative and fun team! We are a fast-paced, idea-generating group and it’s a great culture to be a part of,” said Linney. “I find it rewarding to be a part of a team that is collectively working together to support our community with impactful news.”

Previously, as Associate Director of Audience Growth and Acquisition, Linney focused on a growth plan for print subscriptions and adequately used the resources available to her. For example, Linney and her team were able to sell over 100 print subscriptions at Summerville’s annual Flowertown Festival, which shows there are several new opportunities for subscriber growth.

“I am looking forward to being a part of our overall subscription growth, we are on a positive trajectory, and looking forward to being a part of the growth to come,” said Linney.

Also a part of the acquisition team is Digital Marketing Manager, Kelly Krammes. Krammes comes to The Post and Courier from the TV news side of the industry and has over a decade of experience marketing to local audiences and sharing the important work journalists are doing in these areas.  

“The Post and Courier is a storied brand with an excellent reputation in South Carolina and beyond,” said Krammes. “I’m a passionate consumer of news and am proud to work for a brand that is well-known in the industry for providing impactful journalism.”

“It’s our responsibility to make data-driven decisions to best serve the readers and subscribers who invite The Post and Courier into their homes via our digital and print products, while also reaching new audiences. I’m thrilled to join this team of collaborative marketers as we continue to make strategic decisions by honing in on the information we have about our consumers, and news consumers in general, to keep our digital marketing approach agile and relevant.”


Subscriber Acquisition and Retention

But what happens after a new subscriber is acquired? Retention Marketing Manager, Mary Fox, comes in to help onboard and retain new subscribers to make sure they are getting all of the content and benefits of being a Post and Courier subscriber.

In her former role as Subscriber and Donor Engagement Specialist, Fox worked closely with the rest of the digital marketing team to acquire subscribers but saw a gap where new subscribers did not receive the same attention as potential subscribers. 

My strengths are experimenting with different tools and resources to build engagement—and therefore, retention—through messaging our subscribers as well as fundraising campaigns,” Fox said. “I’m happiest trying new things or trying things in a new way to build our retention efforts. I like researching what other companies are doing outside of media/newspapers to see how we can implement that at The Post and Courier. I also am super driven to achieve the goals of keeping subscribers engaged and building our fundraising to benefit future special reporting projects.”

This growth in acquisition and retention extends to the rest of the team as well, with a complete team of seven marketing professionals in the Digital Marketing Department, including Linney, Krammes, Fox, two Newsletter Editors, a Subscriber and Donor Engagement Specialist, and Marketing Coordinator.

Each of these professionals has several ideas for data-driven, creative campaigns to continue branding and marketing The Post and Courier across the state, and to continue to reach new audiences with the quality journalism that is known to come from the reporters at The Post and Courier.

 

About Our Team 

Claire Linney, Audience DirectorClaire Linney, Audience Director

Audience Director, Claire Linney, has been with The Post and Courier for nearly a decade and through this experience has a strong grasp on the holistic approach of the paper in acquisition and retention. Linney enjoys looking at the big picture and the overall goal of the business, and in this position works closely with the digital marketing team to reach their goals.

 

Kelly Krammes, Digital Marketing ManagerKelly Krammes, Digital Marketing Manager

Digital Marketing Manager, Kelly Krammes, comes to The Post and Courier with a decade of experience in news marketing, working at 11Alive News, the NBC affiliate in Atlanta. Her main goals in this position are to create avenues to reach new audiences to be able to share The Post and Courier with these audiences.

 

Mary Fox, Retention Marketing ManagerMary Fox, Retention Marketing Manager

Retention Marketing Manager, Mary Fox, has been with The Post and Courier for almost two years and in that time has created and refined several acquisition and retention campaigns for subscribers and donors to the organization. In this role, Fox has created several retention strategies, including an onboarding series for new subscribers, subscriber-only contests and events, and reaching out to these audiences whenever there is breaking news.

Partner Success 360: Hendrick Lexus

Partner Success 360: Hendrick Lexus Charleston

We all love going to the events that make the Charleston area special. It’s even better when the host is a local institution that partners with other local institutions to expand their brand and thank their employees and customers.

Hendrick Lexus Charleston served as Presenting Sponsor for The Post and Courier’s Steeplechase of Charleston, the annual March horse racing event at the Stono Ferry Race Track. The splendid all-day affair is a cornucopia for the senses, featuring food, arts and crafts, and of course, a National Steeplechase Association-sanctioned race meet.

For the Hendrick Lexus Charleston dealership, a staple of the Lowcountry community for 30 years, it’s an opportunity to offer a visceral treat in Sunday racetrack attire – “to take care of our employees so they can take care of our guests,” says Steve Strickland, the executive general manager of Hendrick Lexus Charleston for the past 25 years. “Events are so important because it gives us an opportunity to work with the community, get outside of the dealership and have fun.”

Automobile dealers have transitioned from sales organizations to customer service organizations, and with it have changed their goals and objectives. They are seeking more relational connections with consumers than traditional advertising offers, and that the traditional showroom sales discussion entails. The Post and Courier has been happy to oblige with events that bring people together for enjoyment. The Steeplechase, which is resplendent with a history dating back to 1792, provided Hendrick Lexus Charleston with a sponsorship opportunity that brings together their target market and better meets its needs.
Potential customers could see the cars, touch them, review their specifications, sit on the seats and get a real feel for them without having to visit a showroom. It gave them an opportunity to interact with company representatives under sunny skies surrounded by good smells and sights, without the pressure of being asked about buying. In a nutshell, the Steeplechase was a way for Hendrick Lexus Charleston to network.
“Working with The Post and Courier this past year at the Steeplechase – everyone dressing up, seeing the horses and just having fun, and the camaraderie – that was all so awesome,” said Strickland. “The way it was presented and the way it was set up and the way we were allowed to present our cars there was just beautiful. We sold several cars the next week to customers who  were at the event that sparked their interest.”

Hendrick Lexus Charleston has signed on for a second year of sponsorship of the Steeplechase of Charleston because they know that The Post and Courier tailors its partnerships to meet the needs of their partner, and includes many different assets that only a media company with the breadth of The Post and Courier can provide.

John A. Carlos II / Special to The Post and Courier

The Post and Courier filmed a custom co-branded video that organically put the Hendrick Lexus Charleston brand at the forefront. The newspaper wrote sponsored content for Hendrick and featured it online, in the Post and Courier newsletter, and in a special print section. It highlighted the Hendrick Lexus brand and made them a part of the event in a low-key way that portrayed them as part of the community, which of course they have been for three decades.

“What we wanted to do was to get our name out into the community; we wanted our guests to have a good time at a great event with our products there,” said Strickland. The Post and Courier hosts numerous events over the course of the year to bring Lowcountry residents together, build community, and provide branding opportunities to its partners. Says Steve Strickland, “It’s fun to team up with such a great company.”

 

 

Partner Success 360 highlights the accomplishments of The Post and Courier’s advertising partners in creating a holistic marketing campaign. Learn more about how our partners have tapped into the power of the Post and Courier’s full scope of products and connected with our wide-reaching audience to achieve their business goals.

Real Partners. Real Success.

 

Partner Success 360: Mitchell Hill

Partner Success 360: Mitchell Hill

What do an interior design store and a newspaper have in common? They're both local and have a great partnership.Mitchell Hill, the full-service gallery and interior design shop that is quickly becoming an Upper King Street icon, advertises regularly in the Post and Courier and attributes some of its success to that partnership.  Johns Island native Michael Mitchell began his business in 2006 in New York City and opened a pop-up store in Charleston four years later. His plan was to shut down the store after 32 days, but the response was so overwhelming that he made it permanent. He and partner Tyler Hill marked 10 years in Charleston with a move up the street to a 12,000-square-foot store that is a must-visit location for art and design lovers, be they locals or visitors. 

Mitchell says the most important reason to advertise both in print and in digital products is its impact. “There is just no substitute for using the most viewed local media outlet to reach locals and tourists alike.” “We have to see feedback from our advertising,” he said. “If the advertising falls flat and it’s not grabbing anyone’s attention there’s a couple of problems there: are we providing the wrong information and the wrong photography or are we just partnered with the wrong source? Mitchell has seen all the fancy metrics that advertisers use about reach, frequency, clicks, and so on, but he uses a far simpler but more relevant measuring stick. “A lot of this is sort of shooting in the dark because we don’t know how people are reacting to things, but what we do know is when they come in and they talk about it,” he said. “Certainly with our advertising with the Post and Courier we get a lot of feedback. We get a lot of traffic off it and people come in with the ads. They do lead to sales. They lead to new friendships and new customers, which is really what we want. I can grab tourism off the street but to get to the local people, it’s the Post and Courier.”

That said, tourists like to check the local daily newspaper to get a feel for the city they are visiting, and Mitchell enjoys the fruits of that readership. “We have clients literally walk in the door with a torn ad out of the newspaper, in their hand, and some of them have said ‘I want that rug,’ or they’ll say, ‘what else do you have like this?’ That’s super positive feedback for us. That’s what we need to get from advertising and what the Post and Courier delivers.”Because the art and craft of interior design is different every day for each individual customer, Mitchell Hill must update its ads regularly. That freshness works well in a newspaper, whether print or digital because the ads are easy and inexpensive to change on a daily basis, if necessary. As a result, clients keep looking out for Mitchell Hill ads. “The benefit is people are constantly looking at our ads to see what we’ve changed,” Mitchell said. “The Post and Courier have a far reach well beyond Charleston, which most people don’t realize. With the presence of print and online, it's lovely for us to be able to share what we’re doing.”

Mitchell Hill runs print ads. in The Post and Courier every day of the week. This is an example of one of their ads.

Growing up, Mitchell read the paper for the latest news, and he still does today. It’s just the running blood and the soul of our town. It’s always been that way: it was that way when we had the Evening Post, the News and Courier, and when it evolved to the Post and Courier. Growing up here, there were always things going on in different pockets around town. We can still get that information from the Post and Courier.”

When you’re the leading source of news, people are reading, they’re engaged with the information. The newspaper can’t be on in the background or something you skip through on the way to someone’s post about their vacation. Every medium, and every advertiser, would like to have such engaged users. It’s what makes partnering with the Post and Courier so valuable to Mitchell Hill, and to hundreds of other Charleston-area businesses.

 

 

 

 

Partner Success 360 highlights the accomplishments of The Post and Courier’s advertising partners in creating a holistic marketing campaign. Learn more about how our partners have tapped into the power of the Post and Courier’s full scope of products and connected with our wide-reaching audience to achieve their business goals.

Real Partners. Real Success.