Does anyone read printed newspapers anymore?

SUMMARY: Newspapers are not dead. At least, not yet. Did you know that 57% of adults still read a daily printed newspaper? And 22% of all ad dollars still go to newspapers. Should newspapers be part of your media mix?

If you’re considering advertising in the newspaper, don’t throw the idea out the window just yet. Did you know that 57% of adults still read the newspapers? And 22% of all advertising dollars still go to newspapers.

Listen in on this podcast, there’s more. You’ll probably find that you should consider using the newspaper still if your market is right. Newspapers may be dying, but they aren’t dead yet.

A sad thing happened in Hawaii. My favorite newspaper died: the Honolulu Advertiser. That paper has been around for 154 years.

I grew up in Hawaii. When I was working on the Kahuku High School newspaper, I remember taking a field trip to the Honolulu Advertiser production room in the seventies.

We saw many workers actually setting type the old-fashioned way. No kidding. Men and women were standing in front of these boxes with metal letters and numbers. I think they called them compositors.

They took the letter blocks from the boxes of the type case and placed them in the composing stick, working from left to right and placing the letters upside down with the nick to the top. Ah, it brings back such fond memories. Those were the days.

I love newspapers. A lot of people think that newspapers are dying— that they are going to go the way of the Ford Pinto and explode out of existence.

I disagree. And in a minute I’m going to tell you why you should still use newspaper in your media mix. But first, another story.

When I went to college, the Internet did not exist. Newspapers were the kings of advertising. I majored in advertising and built my ads using the technology of the day.

Newspapers and Internet can coexist

I remember learning that newspapers were truly the windows to the world. Hey, I’m no dummy. I realize that technology is here and that we have the Internet but there’s nothing like holding a newspaper and feeling the newspaper in your hand and deciding what you’re going to read and not read.

I realize that newspapers all over the country are dying. Lots of newspapers have died including the Tuscon Citizen, Rocky Mountain News, Baltimore Examiner. It’s sad what has the Internet done to newspapers.

Even though I love the Internet, I don’t think all newspapers are going to go out of existence.

Should you advertise in newspapers?

So let me jump to today’s topic with this one question:

Are newspapers still a viable advertising media?

Should you consider using newspapers in your media mix?

I say yes and yes. There are still many newspapers in the United States with huge circulations. For example a newspaper that I read every day USA Today has a circulation of 2,293,310. And the Wall Street Journal print 2,011,999 million every day.

Why is newspaper advertising still a great medium?

I think trust and confidence issue. People trust what they can read in print rather than what they can hear on the TV stations or even see on the Internet. It’s also a very intimate media. And newspaper readers will know exactly what I mean.

Did you know that 57% of adults in the US still read a daily newspaper and 67% read a Sunday newspaper and that they spend about 45 minutes per day reading at least one newspaper.

Newspapers are a very intimate advertising medium where people can pick and choose what they want to read where newspaper stories and newspaper ads are mixed together almost seamlessly.

Believe it or not, almost 22% of all advertising dollars still go to newspapers.

And 85% of that is spent by local advertisers. So if you are a local business, newspaper advertising is still a real good medium to use.

If you are a small business and a good portion of your business comes from local buyers, newspapers should really be a part of your media mix.

THINK ABOUT IT: Should newspapers be part of your media mix?

• • •

Talk to only one market at a time in your ads

How many civic advertising campaigns can you remember?

Better question: how many ads can you remember that tugged at your heart, made you smile, or made a compelling case?

I can’t name one.

Here’s tongue-in-cheek ad that does all three: it talks to your heart, brings a smile to your face and makes you act. Why is this ad so good?
• The headline is great.
• The benefits are clear.
• The call to act is direct.
• The sentences are short.
• The type is large.
• This ad is targeted at only one audience.
• The photo represents the target market: older people.

By the way, the photo is George Raft who was an American film actor identified with portrayals of gangsters in crime melodramas of the 1930s and 1940s.

The overall results of this ad were rewarding. Calls on the M.O.B. telephone hotline increased 300%.

This ad is proof again that a great idea, well conceived and executed, can pay for itself many times over in measurable results.

My advice: have fun with your advertising, but never forget the purpose of advertising: make the phone ring.




Leave a Reply