Category Archives: journalism

Happy National Newspaper Week!

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Image Source: http://www.nationalnewspaperweek.com

Oct. 1 – 7 is officially “National Newspaper Week” and MediaBids would like to thank each and every newspaper we work with.

The theme this year is “Real Newspapers…Real News” and a website has been set up for interested newspapers to download content & house ads reinforcing the importance of newspapers to use in print editions and online.

Here’s the link for more information – there’s still time to celebrate! http://www.nationalnewspaperweek.com/

Global Print Titles with Subscriber/Readership Growth

Growth Sequence - A sequence of seedlings growing progressively taller, isolated against a white background.

Spanning a wide variety of publication types, many newspapers and magazines have seen an uptick in readership in 2017 over the prior year. Here’s just a small sampling of those who have increased digital & print subscriptions –

Harvard Business Review – 10% Growth in the past year.

The Austrialian – Growth of 4.7% in the past year.

Private Eye (UK) – Growth of 8.6% circulation over the past year

Financial Times – 20% increase over prior year

New York Times – 11% increase over prior year

To take a look at other publications who are experiencing growth in circulation and beyond, Editor and Publisher put together a nice list of innovative newspapers who have made strides in 2017.

 

NNA Survey Shows Newspapers are Still a Top Source of Local News

The National Newspaper Association recently conducted a survey to find out what consumers preferences were when it came to learning about local news in their community.

Newspapers slightly edged out television, but what was the most surprising stat was that only 1% of people surveyed cited newspaper’s websites as their preferred source. Also notable is that the majority of respondents have been readers of their local paper for 30 years or more. The full survey findings can be seen here: http://www.nnaweb.org/nna-news?articleTitle=nna-survey-newspapers-still-top-choice-for-local-news–1497279875–1575–1top-story

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Source

The “Newseum”

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http://www.newseum.org

Anyone interested in seeing front page news from around the US every morning can stop over to Newseum.org . You can literally check out content on the front pages from over 800 newspapers – ranging from small town papers to large dailies like The Washington Post.

In addition to hosting this large group of newspaper front pages online, the Newseum has a top top rated museum headquartered in Washington D.C., featuring curated exhibits, events and programs covering notable news events throughout history.  Current exhibits include a gallery of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs, an interactive news room and an exhibit about Presidents and their pets.

Now, more than ever, may be an important time to take a trip here and appreciate the role journalism in its various formats plays in our society. We’ll be making the trek.

Hey Gannett, Why Buy More Papers?

networks

As of this writing, it’s quite possible that Gannett has bought Tronc (a.k.a. Tribune Publishing.) As many media watchers know, Gannett has made a series of offers to Tronc this year. Based on a report from Politico Media today, the deal appears to be all but announced.

Whether you’re inside or outside the media business you may be wondering why exactly Gannett is in such a hurry to snap up Tronc, one of the country’s largest metro newspaper publishers. One thing is for sure, it’s not necessarily about publishing more print newspapers.

Newspapers and journalism have been in the midst of a great deal of industry upheaval and change for the past decade. The future of newspaper publishing isn’t about growing print circulation. Rather, the future is about digital (meaning video, really) content distribution to a valued audience of reliable news and content consumers. Metro newspaper publishers are aiming to deepen their relationships, and drive revenue, by providing their loyal news consumers with more content overall and more mobile-friendly content, to be precise.

Tronc owns the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, the San Diego Union Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Sun Sentinel and several other large metro papers. In other words Tronc has audiences in several top ten media markets. According to ComScore, Tronc’s online audience exceeds that of the Washington Post and nearly matches Disney. As you might expect, these are among the largest audiences on the web.

Gannett is already the largest newspaper publisher in the county. The purchase of Tronc, with it’s large online audiences, content distribution network and investments in video production,  position Gannett to be a major player in the future of content, information and entertainment. A future that is, more or less, already here.

Post by Jim Jinks

Print Ad Success, Happens To Be Just Like Fishing (no kidding!)

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I just returned from my annual trip to Alaska, where I did a lot of fishing with my kids. Stay with me for a minute, there is a point to this that relates to marketing in newspapers. I believe, that what I have learned about fishing applies to marketing in newspapers.

Not surprisingly, my kids all like catching fish more than they like waiting for fish to bite. The problem is that a big part of fishing is waiting (I always tell them, “that’s why they call it fishing, not catching”) and having faith that the fish will respond sometime soon. If my kids believe that we have gone to a bad spot or that there is no hope in trying, their attention to detail diminishes. Instead of checking the bait every few minutes, they check every hour. They don’t hold the rods, they put them in the boat’s rod holders. They are less likely to try different techniques or pay attention to where their bait is positioned. In short, fishing is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are unlikely to be successful, unless you pay attention, which is easier to do when you believe that success is possible.

In an effort to counterbalance the inevitable impatience of children fishing, for the past several years I have manufactured a new “secret spot” that some unnamed but very wise old friend has told me about. I tell my kids that this friend caught monsters at this spot and their enthusiasm rises to a fever pitch. They believe that this spot will produce fishing glory, so they fish harder, are more attentive to detail and are more patient than they would be otherwise. So it is no big surprise that my fictitious “secret spot” always outperforms other areas that we fish.

Fishing is a hard thing to scientifically quantify and there is no doubt that a certain amount of luck factors into a good day of fishing. However, I firmly believe that there are many factors that a fisherperson can control and the expectation of success creates an environment where success is more likely.

Now, stay on the line, I am about to set the hook – marketing in newspapers is very similar to fishing.

As you probably know, we do a lot of response-based print marketing here at Mediabids. In response-based marketing there are two parties who are involved in a transaction. First, there is the advertiser who is trying to generate response for their goods or services. Second, there is the publication, who wants revenue from the results they generate for that advertiser.

Too often, I believe, all parties (and I include Mediabids in this group) don’t expect success for a specific ad in a specific publication. They want success, but they don’t expect it. All parties involved act like my kids when they are fishing in a spot they believe is unlikely to yield results. But attention to detail generates better results in fishing and in newspaper marketing. Maybe the ad would perform better with a different offer or at a different price point? Maybe the ad would generate more response if it ran in a different section of the publication or at a different size or on a different day of the week? Often it is the little things that determine the difference between an ad performing well or below expectations. However, if success is not expected, it is easy to ignore those little things, which only increases the odds of failure. It is too easy to say, “This ad isn’t going to work.” and not try anything. It is like my kids saying, “There are no fish here.”

We should all expect success from print advertising. We have all seen enough success stories to know that print can generate large numbers of highly qualified results. It should happen with every ad we place, but it doesn’t. It is the job of Mediabids, the advertiser and the publication to expect and demand that ads perform well.

Post by Jedd Gould.

Top Podcasts for a Better You

Head Phones

I have been one of those people, at times, that has been indifferent to the emergence of the digital age. I mean, I still read actual books…sometimes I even buy hardcover versions! I know. I know. What a Luddite, right?

But let’s be honest, unless you’re a big gamer, the internet has been -until the past few years- awash in advertising and A LOT of one-dimensional content that can be take it or leave it (there are many exceptions, of course.) In fact, among the most heavily visited sites on the old WWW have been newspaper sites -which is great, don’t get me wrong. But newspaper sites are hardly what all the fuss and promise of the internet has been about, until recently. As many of you likely already know, the latest generation of the internet (are we at 3.0 yet?) is about text, messaging and social media apps and accessing video and audio content. It’s the audio content (a.k.a. podcasts) that we’ll talk a bit more about here today.

Starting in 2015, especially with the popularity of Serial (from the makers of This American Life on NPR), podcasts have really begun to emerge. National Public Radio, the New York Times, Slate, ESPN and several other media outlets have really started to focus on podcast content, not to mention a myriad of other smaller players. After all, the production of podcasts doesn’t necessarily require much of an investment beyond a microphone, a server for storing the files and the time involved. As a media salesperson or an agency staffer, why should you care about podcasts?

Podcast audiences, generally speaking, are still relatively small so selling ad space in them or looking at them as a cornerstone of a media plan is a ways off..in terms of really being a part of the marketing conversation. But as a media seller or an agency staffer, the real value of podcasts to us is more basic – inspiration and education.

At the risk of sounding a little new age, listening to podcasts (like reading books or watching films) can help you be a better you. The exploration of ideas and hearing different perspectives on things that are happening in our world, will only help you -as a media seller- to make connections with others and -as an agency staffer- to be able to think of old problems in new ways. If you haven’t started to take some time for podcasts, the time is now. At the very least, if you’re still something of a Luddite like me, starting now you can still claim to be an early-adopter (even if it’s just barely the case.)

If you’re unsure of where to get started with podcasts, here are five from the worlds of journalism, business, culture, politics and entertainment to consider:

RadioLab

TED Radio Hour

The MOTH

SLATE Political Gabfest

WTF with Marc Maron

 

Post by Jim Jinks

 

Top Newspaper & Magazine Industry Websites

Internet Concept on Laptop

We’re always searching for the latest news about the evolution of print journalism and advertising. These blogs have fresh and interesting content that we highly recommend taking a look at:

Nieman Lab: Published by Harvard University, this website publishes its own unique take on all of the news, innovations and notable happenings in the new world of journalism. We especially like the daily newsletters they send.

Newsonomics:Ken Doctor is “a speaker and consultant, advising on new sustainable business models of contemporary journalism.” His site features coverage of the New York Times, paywalls, and all things about the digital transformation of traditional media.

AdAge: If you’re in the advertising industry, you’re probably intimately familiar with AdAge. It’s the preeminent publication covering the advertising and marketing industries, and provides instant alerts on the latest news in the world of agencies & all topics media.

The Drum: The Drum is a  site that publishes out of Europe and has its own unique voice covering everything marketing. We think it’s one of the best all-around marketing/advertising sites available today.

Poynter: Poynter is one of the leading voices of journalism, and is actually a teaching institution that educates the best and brightest in the news industry.

MediaPost: MediaPost offers a variety of publications that cover print, television, mobile, social, email, tech and political marketing.

Media Life: Media Life is geared specifically towards media planners & buyers and is published by industry veteran and all-around great guy Gene Ely.

Print in the Mix: Print in the Mix is a project of the Rochester Institute of Technology and is a data-driven website that covers aspects of print ranging from newspapers to 3D printing.

Jim Romenesko: The personal blog of journalist Jim Romanesko, writing from his unique vantage point of being a top journalist at several newspapers and other media entities.

Mr. Magazine: Mr. Magazine also goes by the name of Samir Husni, a magazine industry veteran who provides insightful stats about trends in the industry, reports of new magazines forthcoming and those who are no longer with us, and many interesting publication provides.

Reflections of a Newsasaur – Alan Mutter has run the gamut of roles in the media world – from newspaper journalist to television and internet endeavors, he’s one of the most respected voices in the disucssion of the new age of journalism.

Post by Jess Greiner

Fact Checking ”Truthiness”

Trump PinochioStephen Colbert famously coined the term ”truthiness” to describe the way politicians often say things that are at best only half-true. Working in advertising, where we are held to a relatively high standard pertaining to ”truth” (not to mention subject to laws and official government oversight), the nature of advertising in politics -with its loose relationship to facts- has always been particularly frustrating to me, both as a voter and professional marketer. As a society, why do we demand more from our commercial advertisers than our politicians?

It’s a big question and I will not be attempting to answer it here. One thing is for sure, ”truth” isn’t exactly easy to define. Often it’s the case that our truth is simply what we choose to believe. But, of course, we can’t simply let politicians entirely off the hook.

Hillary 2016

While there isn’t an Federal Trade Commission (FTC) looking over the shoulder of political campaigns and consultants, in recent years there has emerged a strong vein of fact checking (even an industry, really) including newspaper and non-profit organizations. The next time you’re curious about the facts behind statements and/or advertising from one of the major candidates, these are the four most widely noted fact checkers:

Factcheck.org

Politifact.com

Sunlightfoundation.com

Poynter.org

 

Post by Jim Jinks

 

4 Ways Newspapers Can Stay in the Game

The success of local community newspapers is one of the sentiments we at MediaBids highlight here in the PrintObserver (see here: All Advertising is Local, here: The Definition of Truth, here:  The Future of Hyperlocal News, and here: The Top 5 Reasons Community Newspapers are Thriving).  But that doesn’t mean that newspapers – local, regional, and national – should not be open to adapt their business plans to adjust to industry trends.

Here are 4 ways newspapers can stay in the game:

  1. Remember, content is king – One of the main historic benefits of newspapers is the value of their journalism and the quality of their reporting.  In an age where consumers have unlimited options as to where to get their news and information, newspapers must continue to be a beacon of truth and source of thought-provoking editorial.  Much of the value of a newspaper’s brand is in their trustworthiness and this is an asset worth capitalizing upon.  While many recent turnarounds can be attributed to cost-cutting, this cannot come at the expense of editorial excellence or else readership (and thus, revenue) will not be long to follow.
  2. Be genuine – In recent months, we’ve seen critics rip apart Tribune’s announcement to re-brand themselves as Tronc.  You can’t simply throw around buzzwords and slap the word “optimization” on everything.
  3.  Focus on core competencies – Along with the arrival of digital display and programmatic advertising, we’ve seen some newspapers try to transform into an agency of sorts; acting as the liaison for local clients into the world of advertising beyond just their pages.  We’ve seen this have varying degrees of success, but if this is going to be your approach, make sure your sales reps are well-trained to handle questions, objections, and execution of campaigns in alternate mediums.
  4. Newspapers need to recognize and adapt to the fact that their advertisers want trackable results.  Data-driven decision making is a powerful part of marketing today and advertisers have grown accustomed to information-rich platforms.  Beyond touting the quality of your readership, newspapers need to be willing to be part of the conversation on response and ROI/ROAS.  Accountability is paramount.

Whether your analysis of future trends predicts the “death of print” or you have a more optimistic view, one thing we can all agree on is that newspapers will have to be adaptable to survive the ever-evolving media landscape.  We generally try to shine a light on positive news in the industry since the pessimistic voices are often booming loud and clear around us, but that doesn’t mean newspapers should continue down the tunnel with blinders on.

Post by Darcy Mauke