By: Mark Fitzgerald Some readers of The Montana Standard had been grumbling about their home delivery service since the Butte paper moved production to a regional plant in Helena in mid-July. So when an inserting machine went down and delayed delivery of the Sunday, Aug. 2 editions, Publisher Randy Rickman knew he had to do two things: Let readers know the problem happened in Butte, not Helena ? and offer a memorable make-good: The paper offered to treat readers to ice cream.
In a front-page apology published the following Sunday, Rickman offered a free ice cream cone for the first 700 readers who brought the column to either Dairy Queen store in Butte. Says Rickman, "It was a way to show a sincere apology by putting money toward making it right for the customer, and show the advertiser the power of the newspaper while getting them some business as well." Bre Hall, manager of the Uptown Butte location, tells E&P that while many customers were excited, some who had the paper with them turned down the free cone and paid full freight for blizzards, Dilly Bars and other DQ treats.