Going Local: Politics Still Profitable in Print

When several big city newspapers announced they would cease daily publication in favor of a three-day a week model it seemed the nail had finally been put in the print advertising coffin. Newspapers and magazines, formerly highly profitable advertising mediums, were losing share as an avenue worth investing marketing dollars. However the reports of print advertising’s death are slightly exaggerated.  Digital’s lower cost and wider reach may seem to have affected print advertising, but there are still segments where it remains viable and influential. This is primarily true in the local markets.  A Pew report found that 72% of Americans follow local news closely.   Newspapers have had to reinvent themselves and focus on becoming the best at breaking local news.  This is optimal for the marketer looking to target their campaign by region or other location.

This is especially true when you consider political advertising.  Newspaper readers often skew older, but so do voters.  Moore Information, a campaign research firm, found that of those polled who had voted in the last local election, 79% say they read a newspaper once a week or more often.  It also found that 82% of political contributors read newspapers at least several times per week.  With local elections rapidly approaching, political campaigns and issues-based advocacy groups who elect not to utilize local newspapers in their marketing mix risk missing an opportunity to reach reliable and consistent potential voters in one of their preferred mediums.  On a lighter note, the Moore Information study also found newspapers the least annoying medium for political advertising!

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