Presidential election revenue opportunity for small papers

September 8, 2016

By Derek Price
Green Shoot Media

Trump versus Clinton is shaping up to be one of the most talked about and controversial elections in generations—not to mention an important choice for America’s future.

With so much attention on the race, it’s also a great opportunity for community newspapers to win some much-needed political revenue this fall. Broadcasters and large publishers will be snapping up the bulk of the millions in advertising dollars expected to be spent by the national campaigns, but there also are opportunities to tap into local interest to drive ad sales in smaller markets.

To provide a vehicle for those ad sales, you may want to try the 2016 Election Guide my company produces. It contains a down-the-middle, just-the-facts overview of the 2016 presidential race, including bios of both candidates and a look at the major issues. It’s designed to help papers boost their political ad sales as the Nov. 8 election draws closer.

National election news, whether from a wire service or other source, also can make an ideal starting point for community papers to supplement with local coverage. Some ideas:

• Include information on local races in a special election preview section. Many states and municipalities will have their own issues and candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot. Add some local election content to round out the national coverage and drive more political ad sales.

• Q&A with the candidates. If you’ve got local races in play, e-mail questions to the candidates and print their responses. Voters love being able to compare answers side-by-side, and politicians love the chance to get their thoughts in print.

• Ask for opinions. What do your local readers think about their presidential choices? Man-on-the-street interviews are a simple way to add local people’s thoughts on the national race.

Whether you localize it or simply run a “Trump vs. Clinton” overview section, the 2016 election is a great sales opportunity to help newspapers boost their bottom line this fall around a hot-button, high-interest topic.


Derek Price is owner of Green Shoot Media. He can be reached at 256-275-4333.


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