The business of print media and why it matters
A recent conversation with a business partner prompted me to revisit the discussion about the value of print media and why it matters. As the publisher of a monthly community newspaper, the question whether print advertising is effective or not is one I get a lot. Thankfully, the answer is a resounding “YES!,” and here’s why:
Odds are that you are not sitting at your computer or desk at the moment; you have likely poured yourself a beverage and you have selected a comfortable spot to sit and spend some time “in” your community. You look forward to connecting with the things that are familiar to you without the intrusion of unwanted messaging that you have no control over. This is on your terms. There is something nostalgic about the lingering smell of the ink on the paper and the feel of the newsprint on your fingertips. No bright harmful lights, no instant messages, no keyboard clicks or pop-up solicitations; just you and your newspaper.
This is important because most print publications – and we are no exception – are funded by advertising dollars. If not for the businesses that are featured the newspaper, The Connection could not be produced. Yet, businesses are being inundated with messages that digital marketing is king and that print news is a dying breed. So here it is, my case for why businesses need to invest in print advertising campaigns to stay viable longterm, and why, as readers, you should support the businesses that commit advertising dollars to your community newspaper:
For starters, reaching consumers when they are in a relaxed mental space and they are a captive audience is important for long-term brand recognition. The visual images you present (a logo for example) become associated with the feelings the reader is experiencing while exploring the paper – which is likely to be positive. We are all about “a little good news” after all. Readers discover a story about the accomplishment of a neighbor who has started a new business or a friend’s child who has won an award, and they feel good. Those feelings automatically translate to the product or service being presented, which often leads to product affinity.
Participating in a reputable publication that is valued and has established trust in the community also builds brand loyalty. When you trust something or someone, you tend to be loyal to it or them. Presenting information in tangible print also gives the message accountability and a legitimacy; you have evidence that the offer or promotion exists, and you trust it is not going to disappear from the screen or get lost in some cyber abyss. There’s no fear of or vulnerability to tracking activity or a virus attacking your computer or phone for viewing the message.
Additionally, newspapers offer an extended value. Much like sharing your favorite book with a friend, they can be passed along to other family members or friends and viewed multiple times. Readers often tell me they keep the paper all month long, referring back to the many resources in it. Some keep back issues for future reference or permanent record. This becomes a valuable resource for readers, and it also provides opportunity for multiple additional exposures for advertisers.
Did you know that all stories in The Connection with the exception of the front cover (which has no advertising on it) start and finish on the same page? As readers, you can engage in a story and know exactly what you’re committing to. For advertisers, this is important because readers stay on the page longer, and they don’t turn away. This gives those businesses and organizations longer exposure time to messaging, which is critical in establishing brand recognition. A few seconds of digital subjection versus a couple minutes of print exposure is a big deal.
As a reader, if any of these tenets resonate with you, be sure to take note of the advertisers in this issue (and every issue) and thank them for their participation in and support of The Connection. To our business partners, we say thank you for recognizing the value of print advertising and for honoring us with your continued participation and support.
By Terri Wiebold