The featured TAPinto franchisee for the month of July 2020 is Kathy Cryan, who owns and operates TAPinto Union. With a background in business, Cryan has amassed a very large readership, routinely breaking 150,000 pageviews per month with more than 3,500 residents subscribed to the free daily newsletter and almost 5,000 followers on Facebook, while building a profitable online local news business.
Why did you want to franchise a TAPinto site?
The opportunity to become a local news publisher came to me fortuitously at a time when I was working full-time as a senior account executive at an insurance company. I definitely saw a void in local news coverage in Union and thought I could make a difference. It was certainly a learning experience, but covering stories in the town in which I live has been rewarding and gratifying.
Q. You have an interesting background. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Prior to the insurance industry position, I worked for many years as a business analyst at AT&T.
Q. What do you enjoy covering the most in Union?
Hands down, the best part of covering what’s going on in Union is meeting new people and hearing their stories. There are so many interesting and amazing people in Union and their stories might go untold if not for hyperlocal news coverage. Additionally, I enjoy covering stories that illustrate how the township operates, whether it’s attending the planning or zoning board meetings, board of education meetings, township committee meetings or even a firefighter’s retirement celebration. Attending school events is always a special treat for me and I enjoy sharing with our readers all of the great things going on in the schools.
Q. Is TAPinto full time for you? If not, what do you also do?
For me, TAPinto is a full time job. When I first franchised TAPinto Union, I continued to work in the insurance industry, but found that there was so much going on in town that I needed to focus on. I handle all aspects of the franchise, from content, to sales, to account maintenance, with some help from occasional freelancers, so it’s very busy. The job allows me a lot of flexibility, but I do attend events, meetings, breaking news incidents and community celebrations whenever they occur, mornings, evenings and weekends.
Q. How do you think businesses and readers can best utilize TAPinto Union? What advantages does TAPinto have that other marketing platforms lack?
For readers, there truly is no one else covering what’s going on at the hyperlocal level. While social media has its place, many times speculation and rumor about something going on in town spirals out of control, spreading inaccurate information. I’m proud that TAPinto Union is factual, accurate and objective. I will only publish information I have confirmed as true and accurate, even if it means waiting a little while before publishing the story. I’d rather wait and get it right.
For business owners, there’s no better place for them to get their marketing message out to residents. We have a large and growing readership. Businesses can submit press releases and event listings directly into our content marketing system, which will be viewed on the site, in our daily enewsletter delivered to 3,600 of our readers each morning, and on our social media platforms. We offer columns, sponsorships, and more for businesses to get the word out about what’s going on in their business. We can help develop a marketing plan that best utilizes TAPinto’s platforms to engage the right audience.
Q. What are some of your business strengths? What’s something you would like to work on?
I’d like to continue to encourage and educate readers on submitting ideas for stories and features. I’m always happy to check out something brought to me by readers. Usually, there’s a good story found there. I’m striving to have TAPinto Union cover even more of the things going on in town.
Q. Describe the TAPinto culture.
I don’t have experience owning other franchises, but I couldn’t imagine one with a culture so inclusive and supportive. For TAPinto Union, sharing ideas and stories that affect our readers with other Union County sites (and vice versa) really adds to the level of coverage we can provide. TAPinto’s corporate culture is one of support and education. We are helped along every step of the way. But, the site is ours and we have the freedom (within guidelines) to run it the best way we see fit…and that fits our readers.
Q. What are your goals at TAPinto? Any future plans for TAPinto Union?
I’d like to continue to be the source of timely, accurate news for the Township of Union. I’d also like to publish more features about life-long residents and people who work to make our local communities a better place. I will continue to look to our readers to help guide us in the stories and information that they want to read more about.