Eric Norberg, since 2001, has been the only full-time employee of Southeast Portland’s own newspaper, THE BEE. That means he sells the ads, edits the stories his correspondents submit, and writes some of his own – and he works from home, and has been a member of AHB since the 1990s. In fact, here’s the description of his presentation Masterful Marketing from July 19, 2001.
Although many newspapers seem to be faltering these days, THE BEE is not. Eric explains that the difference may arise from his many years in radio before entering the newspaper business. “Nobody puts up with a radio station full of things that they don’t want to listen to,” Eric says, “And yet most newspapers still put in things that are of no interest to most readers, and still are expecting readers to sift through it all to find what they want. They don’t do that anymore. Like radio, we have to find pinpoint what they want and expect, and then give it to them! In our case, it’s hyper-local news, centering only in the area the newspaper serves – west of 82nd, east of the Willamette River, south of Powell Boulevard, and north of Clackamas County. That’s what only we can provide them, and that’s what they get.”
The result is that the historic monthly newspaper – it started in 1906 – may be the most relevant newspaper, to its readers, in the region. It prints and distributes 20,000 copies of each issue, direct-mails 16,500 of them, and puts 3,500 of them on free newsstands and in stores and libraries each month – and currently has an estimated 45,000 readers of each monthly BEE. It is 100% hyper-local news front to back.
At a time when advertising is more and more moving online, THE BEE still has many recent local advertiser success stories to its credit – while also having no less than two different websites, each with each month’s editorial content, presented quite differently. In fact, Eric says, he has been advertising in THE BEE since before he ever had anything to do with the paper’s operation, and he still has a paid ad or two in every issue.
What is he advertising? Being a home businessperson, he has more than one profitable activity. In Eric’s case, he is also a Shaklee representative – signing up with the pioneering nutritional health company a few years ago, after being very impressed with the effectiveness of its supplements. So, his Shaklee business card ad runs in every issue – and it’s not a freebie; he pays for every one! He has also has run ads in THE BEE for his Southeast Portland Rotary Club, and even for AHB!
He has been publishing a weekly music-research newsletter for subscribers for the radio and record business since the early 1980’s. He’s provided us the November 18, 2019 issue of the Adult Contemporary Music Research Newsletter to view.
Eric moved to Portland in 1975 to join KEX radio, after a successful radio career in Monterey, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, in California – and he’s been here ever since. He has also been Secretary of his Portland neighborhood association, SMILE, since the mid-1990s; he lives and works in the Westmoreland section of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood, with his science-teacher wife Jane Kenney-Norberg, and with their long haired German Shepherd dog, Sable.
If you like to explore online, here are a few places you can find out more about Eric and THE BEE:
- The newspaper online: www.TheBeeNews.com and www.ReadTheBee.com
- The newspaper as an advertising opportunity: www.BeeRates.com
- Eric’s Shaklee website: www.NorbergStore.com
- Eric’s Music Newsletter: www.ACmusicResearch.com
- Eric’s book on radio programing: www.EricNorberg.com
- Eric’s and Jane’s former, and current, long haired German Shepherds: www.thenorbergfamily.com
And, you’ll see Eric at every AHB meeting!