Newspaper Marketing : Successful Or simply Living through?

Newspaper advertising has undoubtedly changed within recent years. Hybrid cars and mobile phones have changed too. Change is inevitable and not always as bad as it can seem.

The stories of the closures of major newspapers, just like the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, have now been widely publicized. With one of these stories attended the predictions that the net and shrinking audiences has forced newspapers out of naija news business and will continue to complete so. As TIME magazine reports, the fall of the Rocky Mountain News tells an alternative story. The principal blame can be placed on upper-management – “the Scripps’ newspaper executives whose ineptitude within the last 25 years fumbled away a primary market to a competitor they should have killed off 2 full decades ago.”

Another story that’s widely told in regards to the crisis facing newspapers is that the problem is audience based. Catchy, but not true. Newspapers still benefit from significant readership. In fact, more Americans see the printed newspaper than watch the Super Bowl each year. Donna Barrett, President and CEO of Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. is dispelling these rumors by explaining the problem with newspapers is just a revenue issue and not too little audience. Advertising has long supported the large expense of managing a newspaper; however, the recession has resulted in an important decrease in ad spending. The 2nd problem, explains Barrett, is free classified sites winning considerable classified business. Both problems do not need immediate solutions, however, resolutions are feasible.

With smaller expenses, staffs and overhead, community newspapers have not felt the impact of the recession as much as their larger counterparts. In August, The National Newspaper Association (NNA) reported the 2008 fourth-quarter newspaper advertising revenue of community papers at $428.7 million, only a 6.6 percent decline from exactly the same quarter in 2007. For the general newspaper industry, this study showed a decline in fourth-quarter advertising expenditures of over 20 percent.

80% of US newspapers reach a circulation of 15,000 or fewer. 8,000 of those newspapers are classified as community newspapers. Local advertisers have long recognized the advantages of advertising in these small but plentiful newspapers. These small, community papers end up creating a monopoly over the area news that directly affects their readers’ daily lives, making them a complete staple in many communities. In a recent survey, NNA reports that 81% of those surveyed read an area paper each week. Without these papers individuals are left at night on political, social and even personal issues going on within their immediate communities, things larger media outlets rarely have the time or resources to report



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