Should you shift your newspaper ad dollars?

It appears that nearly half of Americans out there simply don’t sit down with their local newspaper and a cup of coffee in the morning anymore. In a recent study from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 42 percent of Americans said they could do without their local newspaper if it were to shut down – the other half believe losing their local paper would hurt life in the community. An interesting dynamic, isn’t it? So what’s going to happen with the demise of the newspaper businesses as we know it? Some newspapers will just cease to exist while others will only have an online presence. The 146-year-old Seattle-Post Intelligencer just announced that on St. Patrick’s Day it would run its presses for the last time and discontinue delivery to more than 117,600 weekday readers. But they will maintain, making it the “nation’s largest daily newspaper to shift to an entirely digital news product.” So with Americans clearly split about whether or not to read their favorite newspaper online or in print, how do you decide where to advertise your message? Finding out where your customers get their information is a good place to start. Do your own research and find out how your customers would feel if their local newspaper shut down. If they would be upset, then chances are they’re still reading it, and advertising here might be a good thing. But if they’re reading an electronic version, then perhaps online advertising might be a better choice. Or perhaps use both media! The bottom line is you need to know where your customers are getting their news and information– regardless of the medium – before you can truly spend precious dollars on any advertising initiatives.

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