Yet, when the Express first hit the streets of northern Michigan in 1991, there isn‘t any question which element of the paper caused the biggest buzz: our romance ads. At the moment of launching, Northern Express became the first publication that devoted a section to the personals.
We heard comments such as, “Those guys are running a dating service,“ or “Did you know people advertise for sex in that new publication?“ Of course, nothing could have been further from the truth. While similar papers in other states allow risquÈ photos to accompany ads and obvious prostitute solicitation in the listings, the Express has always had a policy of rejecting any ads that seek sex or anything too kinky.
Now, of course, the personals are a mainstay for most newspapers from dailies to shoppers. Even TV and radio stations are trying to get in on the act. Personal ads rarely cause a stir, anymore.
As our romance section grew over the years, we have received more positive and very little negative feedback. Our personals have resulted in innumerable long-term relationships and many marriages. Though it has been years since I used them, guys - I found the females I met through Express Connections to be as they represented themselves: potentially excellent companions.
Ladies, I know some of the men who use our personals and most are mighty nice guys. That doesn‘t mean you should get comfortable out there and do anything stupid, though. I‘m sure this is not a big revelation: there are a few weirdoes in northern Michigan. Some naÔve women have called our office and asked if it was okay to invite men who contacted them to their home or travel out of town for their first face-to-face meeting. NO. A thousand times, NO. Find a well-traveled, public place for the initial get-together.
Express Personals in transition. Several readers have contacted us with complaints about mechanical problems with our romance ads system of late. Please, hang in there with us. The glitches may have vanished by the time you read this.
Due to growth in the personals, several years ago we made the decision to contract with an outside company to take care of that section of our newspaper. Due to a merger of companies that specialize in romance ads, the largest personals vendor in the U.S. took over our personals several weeks ago. TPI Group services 90% of the weekly publications in the U.S. with personal ads.
Some users have complained of the amount of information requested when readers sign up. This information actually benefits the user of our personals in many ways. In order to save you telephone charges, our new system has an option that will contact you when messages are received by notification through email, your cell phone, or an automated phone call. These options are in addition to the traditional ways of receiving messages through a 900-number or credit card phone number.
Express Connections also has cutting edge technology that integrates online ads with newspaper listings, provides you with information about potential matches even if neither party actively seeks the other, and optionally brings singles to you from many other newspapers around our state and country.
We continue to work at bringing you personals ads with the least hassle, at a low cost, matching the coolest people in northern Michigan.