Do Yourself a Favor. Switch to Column.

By Dan Thalmann, Owner of Washington County News, Kansas · June 23, 2022

This editorial was submitted by a guest columnist and reflects the views of the author.

“If your operation is anything like mine, we have way too much to do and too little time to do it. Column is like having a free extra employee who takes care of all the public notice efforts at my newspaper.”

Dan Thalmann, Owner of Washington County News, Washington, Kansas

Every time I hear about Column adding yet another state to their partner program, I get excited for the newspaper companies like mine that are about to have the opportunity to totally streamline the legal publication side of their business. If you haven’t yet gotten on board with Column, take it from me — you won’t regret the change.

I'm proud that Kansas was the first newspaper association to get involved with Column. To be honest, my newspaper — the Washington County News — wasn’t the first Kansas newspaper to dive into this new way of doing things. I dragged my feet for a little while. But we got involved back when CEO (and Kansas native) Jake Seaton and his original crew were still the personal contacts on the other side of the phone whenever we had issues. You know what’s funny about that? Despite this company’s phenomenal growth, I’m still talking to some of the same people as when we first started using the software.

If your operation is anything like mine, we have way too much to do and too little time to do it. Column provides what it promises. Their team works with you throughout the entire process of getting set-up, including all the training. Once your system is live and ready to go, the public notice process becomes almost totally automated. It’s like having a free extra employee who takes care of all the public notice efforts at my newspaper. Having extra help that doesn’t impact the budget is awesome.

I am the only full-time person at my newspaper. Being able to partner with a company like Column has been fantastic because they have large company capabilities, and yet we have the type of relationship I’d find at a neighborhood business just down the block on Main Street.

Column Makes Our Customers Happier

The best reason to commit to using Column is about our customers: once our customers make the shift, they really like using Column.

I had a client at an attorney’s office located outside my county who did occasional legal notices in my paper. She was the type of person who was not exactly thrilled to find out we were using a new, digital platform for our notices. My common response to that kind of pushback is that the world is going digital and this was one area where we could guarantee a quality digital experience for our customer, while relieving my staff of that responsibility. This lets us focus on other parts of the newspaper business and continue to offer the best product possible for our readers.

Despite some early grumbling, she used the software and soon had no issues with the new process. Flash forward a couple years and we happened to be talking about some issues she was having with reliability of publication and delays in billing with her local newspaper, who was using the Column platform. I told her I heard they were going to transition to using Column, and she was thrilled!

Using the Column software creates fans of the software. Column provides an elite level of face-to-face customer service not only for us publishers, but also for our public notice customers. For anyone wary of changing up the traditional way of doing things, this high quality customer service is key. I’ve never had such fantastic person-to-person interactions with a tech company. No question is too ridiculous and no challenge insurmountable for their team to handle.

If you’re not using Column, do yourself a favor and make the switch.

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