A couple of Thursdays ago, NFRN national president Martyn Brown, his wife Kate and I went for breakfast to carry out his mid-term president’s interview. During breakfast, Kate was up and down like a yo-yo taking calls and answering messages.

“I’m ever so sorry,” she said, “The Times and Telegraph were on a re-run and too late to go out on the rounds and customers want to know where their papers are.”

One of my questions for Martyn was how big a problem late deliveries were for his business. Kate’s phone was all the answer I needed. It rung seven times in the hour I was with them.

She explained to each customer that she would get their paper to them by 2pm when she was back from London. All were grateful, but some said not to bother. [pull_quote_right]There are only so many times you can let a customer down before they walk away forever[/pull_quote_right]

Martyn said the biggest surprise from his first six months as president was the number of publishing industry leaders who looked blank when he asked about their five-year plan for ensuring the future for print.

Martyn will be pleased to hear Mirror Group Newspapers general manager Neil Jagger says this week that laying down the law to editors and publishers has seen a 22% cut in the number of Mirror re-runs in 2014. However, you only have to ask Martyn, Kate and their customers if the problem is fixed.

If there is a plan, a crackdown on editors must be step one, and this plan needs implementing immediately. There are only so many times you can let a customer down before they walk away forever.

Don’t miss next week’s special festive edition and Martyn’s interview in the 2 January issue. Happy Christmas from all the RN team. I hope it’s a prosperous one.