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TheBuzz

Erika Engle

Sunday, July 11, 2004


An express test
for isle readers


Hawaii is rarely a test market for anything, largely because our population doesn't mirror the rest of the United States.

However, Borders Books Music & Cafe chose Hawaii to test market the rebranding of sister retailer Waldenbooks. Its 11 Hawaii stores have been converted to Borders Express stores and will host grand openings on Saturday.

"Some will have events, authors, musicians. All will have different discounts, giveaways and gift cards, balloons, cake and all that," said spokeswoman Emily Swan.

Hmm, frosting-covered fingers flipping through Bill Clinton's "My Life" ...

"It's always a concern but you know, we have napkins, so we're all right," she chuckled.

Product offerings have been adjusted to include stationery, top-selling CDs and DVDs. "The idea is to give more of a mini-Borders experience," she said.

Just without the caffeine, chamomile or croissants, due to space constraints. Waldenbooks stores, often in malls, cast a smaller footprint than what Swan calls the Borders superstores, of which Hawaii has six.

Waldenbooks preferred reader cards will be honored in Borders Express until the cards expire. The company will not renew them.

Publicly traded Michigan-based parent company Borders Group Inc. is not offering another loyalty card, but Swan said Borders coupons and special offers would extend to Borders Express locations.

The rebranding will eliminate from Hawaii a name associated with book selling for 71 years.

Walden Book Stores founder Larry Hoyt started his business as a book-rental shop in Connecticut in 1933, choosing the Walden name from the work of Henry David Thoreau.

The Borders name came into play in 1971 when brothers Tom and Louis Borders opened a used book store in Ann Arbor Mich.

Grade the news, please

News junkies, rejoice! The Hawaii Localism Coalition wants you to grade local news, but not just any old way.

A grading system developed by Stanford University's Graduate Journalism program, initially used to critique San Francisco Bay Area news, will be used to gather information from Hawaii broadcast news consumers.

The grading sheet and instructions are at www.gradethenews.org.

"To participate you've probably got to tape the newscast and review it at your own pace," said Sean McLaughlin, coalition spokesman and president and chief executive of Akaku: Maui Community TV.

The information will be presented to the Federal Communications Commission at the western region hearing of its Localism Task Force on July 21 in Monterey, Calif.

The commission wants to hear from consumers, industry professionals, civic groups and others on broadcasters' service to their local communities. The information will factor into broadcast license renewals. In the renewal process, stations must show they have operated in the public interest by providing such services as local news.

The FCC plans to stream live audio from the hearing on its Web site at www.fcc.gov.

Ad2 awards

Ad 2 Honolulu was awarded "Club of the Year" from the American Advertising Federation at its recent annual conference in Dallas.

The local group of advertising industry-related professionals, age 32 or younger, received first-place awards in seven of eight categories -- public service, education, government relations, communications, programs, membership and diversity.

Judges awarded the honors for a compilation of the club's work over the contest year. Ad 2 Co-Presidents Sean Morris and Jeela Ongley received presidents-of-the-year honors as well.

In a separate competition among pro-bono public service campaigns prepared by the clubs, Ad 2 Honolulu received first-place for the third year in a row.

Its nonprofit client this time was Hawaii Literacy. As a result of the campaign, the organization has received increased inquiries for services, contacts by potential volunteers and interest from government agencies, according to a videotaped testimonial by Executive Director Katy Chen.

The Ad 2 public service team presented the campaign before a panel of judges and an audience and received a standing ovation. Repeating the presentation at a subsequent banquet, the team received a second standing ovation, Morris said.

"It's a coup because we want to show the rest of the people out there, especially in the industry, that Hawaii is a viable place for good advertising and public relations -- and we really can make a difference," said Morris.




See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: eengle@starbulletin.com


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