Matthew Long

Friday, January 20, 2012

I"ve had cause this week to consider the merits of giving away certain free gifts with the magazine. In our last issue we gave away an Irwin masonry drill bit with each mag. Now, we"ve had a little bit of debate, sparked by readers" emails, as to whether a masonry drill bit is the correct giveaway for our magazine. The argument being, a masonry drill bit is only useful for a woodworker if they are hanging stuff on a wall, and so is not directly applicable to woodwork.

Before I give my thoughts on the issue, I need to make a few points. Firstly, we put cover mounts on a magazine to help draw attention to our magazine on the newstand to try and attract new readers, and also to give our loyal readers a bit of extra value for money for their loyalty to us.

There are problems, however. The equipment being given away needs to be of a low enough value so that a manufacturer feels they are getting value for money for giving us the equipment, in relation to the exposure they are getting.

Also, the kit needs to be small and not too bulky, and safe to go on the shelves of a newsagent. Certain glues, sharp objects, etc, are obviously too dangerous – we have to think that children can get their hands on the things.

The items we can give away are therefore quite limited. Which brings us back to the masonry bit. I think I would say that there really can"t be many woodworkers out their who at some point in their woodworking lives don"t need to fix units or shelves to a masonry wall with plugs. So, I personally, would be quite happy to receive a free masonry drill bit, which I would put away in my toolbox ready to work with around the house, or the workshop.

So, to spark a bit of debate, if any of you have thoughts on our giveaway - and I"ve had emails saying the liked the drill bit, and others saying they thought it wasn"t appropriate –please email me.

If you have any ideas for such giveaways – given the constraints above – then please let me know, and we"ll have a think about if we can arrange it.

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