Let everyone know the value of newspaper advertising

February 16, 2015

‘The newspaper industry is ready for a
renaissance and
rejuvenation … so who says print is dead?’


By Bob Berting
Sales Advice 

The newspaper industry needs to get more aggressive about the value of print advertising, because the media and media buyers are proclaiming that print is dead.

Although newspaper media is enjoying the largest audience ever, there is one fact that tends to be ignored—newspapers are still making money and newspapers are still a good investment. Think about it—an industry that generates cash and solid earnings is not dying. I recently interviewed two successful and progressive publishers about this issue and one industry vendor; here are their thoughts about the progress of newspapers and their vision for the future of print:

Jane Means, publisher of the Athens (OH) News, said, “Newspapers are certainly not dead, and with our publication, we have the audits by the Circulation Verification Council to prove it. Community papers like ours, in rural and suburban areas, are heavily relied upon for local news. Successful business owners know that a consistent ad campaign can help achieve that needed trust in a local community paper.”

Tim Bingaman, president and chief executive officer of the CVC, said, “Consumers are relying on community papers for purchase decisions now more than ever.”

“Local business owners have become much more educated on how to effectively reach their audience for their advertising investment. We share information from our audits with every business, large and small. We consider our audits our most valuable sales tool because it proves we are stronger than ever and definitely much stronger than our competition.”

Paul Barrett, publisher of the Finger Lake Times in Geneva, NY, reports: “We are leaner these days with fewer specialists and more talented generalists. We believe a strong team wins … and with a leaner operation, it gives us more horsepower in each work position. We have completely redesigned our paper. Lots of color, more features, a larger newshole. We have even knocked down walls between our ad department and our newsroom for more effective interactive communication. Small community papers take branding for granted. We don’t—it starts with redesign. Our newspaper racks are beautiful. They’ve become like billboards around the region. We’ve also done a building facelift, inside and out. All this is part of our branding campaign.

What is the future of newspapers? We will continue to struggle with the balance between online and print. Our customers tell us what they need, and we work creatively to fulfill their needs. Our mantra continues to be local—local—local. Print and digital: our advertisers tell us every day that they still prefer print and are willing to pay for it. Online is profitable, but in terms of real dollars, our bread and butter is still print.”

Newspapers are not dead. They are being rejuvenated every day, even if the media, ad agencies, and the general public try to knock them down. Newspapers strive to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. Newspapers fear no one. © Bob Berting 2015

Bob Berting, a newspaper marketing consultant, has published his new e-book for sales professionals in the newspaper industry: “Advanced Selling Skills For The Advertising Sales Pro.” This is a publication for beginning salespeople who can learn advanced selling techniques and experienced salespeople who can sharpen their selling skills. Salespeople can learn more about this publication by using the link www.adsalespro.com and see the table of contents, as well as reading the complimentary first chapter. It costs $19.95 to download the 34-page e-book. Bob is a professional speaker, newspaper sales trainer, and publisher marketing consultant who has conducted more than 1,500 live seminars and tele-seminars for newspaper sales staffs, their customers, and print media associations in the U.S. and Canada. Bob can be contacted at bob@bobberting.com or 800-536-5408. He is located at 6330 Woburn Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46250.

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