They ‘Racked’ Their Brains for it

By: Mark Fitzgerald

For more than a decade, every time marketing manager Kelly Price passed through the basement storage room at The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, she looked at the same 16 out-of-service newsracks ? scuffed up, and painted with outdated colors and logos ? and wondered what use they could ever be.

A chance call from a local art gallery inspired a contest that had teenagers at 16 high schools transforming the racks with cityscape murals, mirrored tiles, and even a fortune teller whose hand moves to reveal the coin drop. The contest not only got kids excited about the newspaper, but also earned local publicity for the Globe and attracted the attention of the Inland Press Association’s industry newsletter. Now it is also sending 16 dazzling racks back into service to sell copies of the Globe.

The contest required that the rack mechanisms remain normal, and that the art be weather-resistant.

Price says, “Honestly, I think they’re so wonderful, they are going to drive up sales, and we’re going to track that.” She planned to have the artsy racks installed by January in secure locations “where we feel we can put them out and they won’t be stolen

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