As we all know newspapers have been on the decline over the past 10 years. Circulation is down. Advertising is down. Numbers of newspapers in this country are down. I heard this week that someone put out a list of newspaper “endangered species”. The Boston Globe here in my town is on that list.
Newspapers are doing nothing to help themselves. Oh sure they all have online versions now. Some are actually very good and popular. Some act like the “official” city website. Are they making any real money from them? But when it comes to the old fashion print side they are not fighting their demise.
I read this week about more layoffs at a major newspaper in the advertising department. These are the sales people. These are the folks that bring in the revenue. If you lay them off where does the revenue come from?
I was at a marketing meeting recently for an up coming show. In the room were media buyers, marketing, and PR. The marketing plan submitted showed no money for newspaper ads. I asked why? The answer was that 1) Newspaper ad rates are too high. 2) Newspapers are not offering promotional space like they once did. 3) No one reads newspapers anymore.
I am not sure I agree with number 3 completely. I walk around my neighborhood every morning with my dogs. I see newspapers sitting on many driveways. Yes, circulation is down but it is not out yet.
I agree that newspaper ad rates are way too high. I don’t think newspapers know the term “supply & demand”. As more people read your paper you raise your rates. If less people read then why not lower the rate? The cost per reader today just does not make sense to an advertiser. Here I was sitting in a room of advertising and marketing peeps who said they can’t afford newspaper ads.
ATTENTION NEWSPAPER AD MANAGERS: lower your ad rates, get more promotionally aggressive, leave your office and visit us event marketers once in a while and you might get some of the budget.
There still is a place for newspapers. The problem is that newspapers are just not willing to change. They better do so soon or they will end up as a Smithsonian exhibit.
Have a great weekend!