Weekly Campground E-Newspaper Debuts
A new weekly newspaper serving the RV park and campground industry debuted today (June 2).
Campground & RV Parks E-News will be delivered every Monday morning via e-mail free of charge to its subscribers, according to publisher Gary Wakerley.
“Campground & RV Park E-News will contain the articles, stories, current events and product showcases that today's campground owners want to know about. With all the exciting events currently taking place in the campground and RV park industry, we are confident that this e-newspaper will be tremendously relevant and will quickly become a top resource for campground and RV Park owners,” Wakerley said.
Wakerley owns RV Management, based in Sevierville, Tenn., which distributes the Jumping Pillows to parks and campgrounds across North America. A native of Queensland, Australia, he brought the Jumping Pillow to the North American market four years ago.
His decision to enter publishing in the U.S. was inspired in part by frustrations he said he encountered in marketing his recreational product.
“We want to present a genuine opportunity to suppliers to the industry, of which we are one, to communicate more regularly with the industry as a whole,” Wakerley said in an interview with Woodall’s Campground Management.
“If there was a weekly newspaper out there, we wouldn’t do it,” he said. “I’m aware of your publication. It’s excellent,” he said in reference to WCM, which is distributed monthly to more than 14,000 RV parks and campgrounds in North America. There also is an online edition that posts Industry News each weekday.
“We would be naïve to think that we’re going to come in and knock the likes of Woodall's or the other trades. Woodall's is a stalwart of the industry,” he said.
“The system as it is now, there’s basically three methods of communications. One is through the conferences once a year. Another is through publications, monthly or quarterly. And the other method is direct e-mail which is very limited in its appeal and performance.
“Some of the comments that we’ve had from campground owners is, they are in tune with all the publications and state organizations. But news doesn’t get to them all the time.
“We think that the weekly newspaper fills a void that exists and it gives suppliers to the industry an opportunity to communicate more regularly. Technology changes every day. We see the e-news newspaper as a logical step for the industry to take.”
The newspaper will draw on news sources and contributors from across the U.S., Canada and the world in presenting a combination of hard industry news, innovations, current and pending industry events, new product information, business ideas and success stories, and will report on industry trends. Wakerley said his publication will be unbiased and non-political.
Wakerley, 48, is modeling his campground newspaper after a series of electronic newsletters serving the timber industry that he publishes in Australia.
“There is no reason it can’t be successful here," he said. "My personal motivation is to give suppliers a greater opportunity, not only economical advertising but frequent advertising. To be successful, we have to offer something different that is of high interest to campground owners. At the end of the day they are the people who will make or break our efforts. So that’s why it’s a newspaper with an emphasis on news, not on advertising. I would be happy to make an extremely nominal profit at the end of our second year. We are not looking to launch it as a huge profit-making venture.”
Wakerley will have a limited role in the operation of the newspaper. He has hired David O’Connor, a writer based in Massachusetts, to handle the day-to-day operations of the newspaper.