Get your monthly 4×4 fix – at R1 a day
Sit back for a moment and reflect on what you can buy for R32 – a double Klippies and coke at Spur, a little more than two litres of petrol, a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of very ordinary wine or about 350g of rump steak at your local butcher.
For double that amount you can buy about 20m of nylon fibre, spun inside a little plastic dispenser, with a tiny blade. It’s called dental floss.
By now you should be wondering what this is all about.
After a price increase influenced by a number of factors, Leisure Wheels is now going to cost you R31.90. Magazines, especially a glossy ones like Leisure Wheels, are a luxury item, but buying our publication is a once-a-month outlay that works out at around R1 a day. That is a bargain when you think that many of us enjoy more than one double brandy and coke in a 24-hour span, and medium smokers buy a pack of cigarettes every day.
We are open to correction but are prepared to wager that it takes more man-hours, and effort, to put an edition of Leisure Wheels onto the shelves of more than 3 300 sales outlets in southern Africa than it takes to produce and distribute a batch of dental floss units.
Contrary to the image portrayed in TV sitcoms of a well staffed newsroom with people running around waving bits of paper, the Leisure Wheels offices in Randburg are home to only four full-time employees – including me. There is no receptionist, you make your own tea or coffee and when a phone rings it is answered by whoever is closest to it.
It takes four weeks (sometimes five) to get one issue of Leisure Wheels onto the streets. The editorial staff is, of course, backed up by a team of very professional and hard working contributors who do a wonderful job of covering a wide range of subjects that are of interest to our readers.
Then we have the advertising team that operates from the RamsayMedia offices in Sandton, and the marketing, subscriptions and production support teams based in Cape Town. Add to that CTP in Cape Town where the magazine is printed, and RNA who handle the distribution of what we like to think of as a publication that is on a par with any lifestyle magazine in the world.
One could say that with every issue of Leisure Wheels we are helping provide a livelihood and income for hundreds of people.
So how do we do it on just R31.90 a copy? The answer is simple. Thank goodness for advertising and the institutions and people who use Leisure Wheels to market their products and services across a broad spectrum of readers.
Without our advertisers, that R31.90 cover price would be more like R100. And when you consider that R100 is par for the course for specialist magazines in many countries, the South African reading public is on a good wicket.
That we are doing something right is borne out by the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures for the period that ended with our July 2013 issue. According to the ABC, we are maintaining our position as the third largest South African motoring publication behind our sister magazine CAR (in top position) and TopGear.
More good news in August gave everyone associated with Leisure Wheels an additional lift. A paid circulation figure of 22 945 kept us ahead of TopCar and SA 4×4, and provided just the tonic we needed to keep doing what we know best for the rest of the year.
As an aside we asked a prospective employee some time ago to tell us why we should add him to our team. His reply was that he wanted to be part of a lifestyle magazine that provided in-depth information on vehicles available in SA with regular shoot-outs between competing brands. He also pointed out that Leisure Wheels provided readers with all the news and information relevant to an active outdoor lifestyle, overland destinations and news and reviews on outdoor products and services.
It was the cheapest bit of market research we have ever done, and the job was his when he added that – most important of all – Leisure Wheels provided readers with a bit of an escape.