The featured TAPinto franchisee for the month of August 2020 is Darlene Cullen, who owns and operates TAPinto South Plainfield.  With a background in business development, Cullen has built a profitable online local news business while providing high-quality, objective local news for the residents of South Plainfield.   

Q. Why did you want to franchise a TAPinto site? What caused you to choose South Plainfield as your TAPinto location?

A lot of thought went into my decision to franchise TAPinto. I felt there was a real void in local daily news. South Plainfield only had a weekly print paper and there was little coverage of those things that affect the community. The large news sites covered only dramatic news. TAPinto provided the opportunity to provide news on the schools, local government, local sports and Obits with immediacy. TAPinto represented the opportunity to jump into a business plan that made sense while filling this news void for our town.

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Q. You have an interesting background.  Can you tell us a little about it?

My background is in banking and business development. This experience was invaluable in starting TAPinto South Plainfield. Many businesses were accustomed to coming to me for business and banking advice and this allowed me to sell and show how TAPinto was the perfect way to advertise their business. I think it is important to evaluate what you have done in the past and see how you can transfer and utilize those characteristics and skills when starting a business.

Q. What do you enjoy covering the most in South Plainfield?

I prefer doing human interest stories on South Plainfield residents. Things that interest South Plainfield residents and readers. A story on a South Plainfield resident born and bred living and operating multiple businesses in rural Vietnam is something of tremendous interest to my readers. I also enjoy covering events throughout the town and meeting the residents.

 Q. Is TAPinto full time for you? If not, what do you also do?

Yes it is a fulltime job. It’s true. The news never sleeps.  

Q. How do you think businesses and readers can best utilize TAPinto South Plainfield? What advantages does TAPinto have that other marketing platforms lack?

TAPinto provides a hyperlocal focus and publishes daily, so it does not matter if a resident is in quarantine, vacationing, or at work, they can  “TAPinto” their town to find out what is going on. The TAPinto platform also allows residents to submit their own content, whether that may be a letter to the editor to voice their opinion or coverage of an event, sports, fundraising, and the list is truly endless.

I am proud that TAPinto South Plainfield provides factual, accurate and objective news. 

For the business community, we provide an excellent platform to help brand their business with affordable advertising packages.  In addition to advertising our team of reporters provide coverage for events, highlight their employees, or provide featured articles on a topic of their choice pertaining to their business.

TAPinto’s advantage over other marketing platforms is that we are truly local. Our local team all live in South Plainfield, raise their family here, patronize local business and are just a phone call away. We know who and what we are writing about and advertising for. Businesses can submit their press releases and events directly to the site, which are included in our daily newsletter to our readers.  We also offer a variety of options to help the businesses better market themselves.

Q. What are some of your business strengths? What’s something you would like to work on?

I love meeting people and learning about them and helping them get their word out.  I do have a keen business sense and understand budgets and how to work within parameters.

I would like to work on helping more businesses using the TAP platform to help their business grow within their markets.

Q. Describe the TAPinto culture.

TAP’s culture is impressive, we have a CEO who had a vision and has successfully made that vision a reality.  Corporate is always available providing support, continuing education, networking, technical upgrades and provides all the tools to be successful.  On a franchisee level, all towns work together, share stories when applicable, and work together not only for the betterment of their own site, but for the corporate brand.

Q. What are your goals at TAPinto? Any future plans for TAPinto South Plainfield?

Continue to provide timely, accurate news for the borough each and every day. I will continue to take all feedback from our readers and learn from it and continue to grow TAPinto.  Our recent reader’s survey provided value feedback from our readers which will help us focus more on stories that our readers want to hear about.

Q.  Is there anything else you'd like to say?

I love TAPinto and when you learn about us you will too.