The SKINNY on Newspapers
Using the paper is considered gospel by many
people in business. Use it wisely and it can be a
Remember, newspapers are passive, non intrusive
media. They tend to reach only buyers who are
looking for the product. They are poor at reaching
prospects before the need arises.
Think about it, there are few times you have been
driven to go to a store to buy a product you never
heard of because you saw an ad in the paper. You
had to have an earlier impression about the
product for the newspaper ad to point you to the
location to buy it.
There are 4 ways to use the newspaper for
1) Display advertising
from one column wide by 2 inches high to a full
two pages, display ads can be so numerous the news
stories have to be cut so both can live on the
There is usually no protection. Competiting store
ads can be next to each other (next time you see
the paper look for tire store ads on the same
When designing your ad, remember it's all about
them. Use a catchy headline and tell them what you
will do for the. Forget about your picture or your
"Number One in the District Award". Good
advertising "feels their pain".
2) Classified advertising
The effectiveness of classified ads varies by
paper and by who wrote the ad and by what the ad
is selling. Many classified sections have turned
into giant car dealer pages and huge homes for
sale sections complete with four color pictures.
The small, private, "gotta sell my Bow-Flex" ads
can be lost in a giant classified section. Many
shoppers and Nickle Savers have smaller, and
cheaper, classified sections.
Some small business operators find success with a
series of small classified ads. Small blurps tend
to build "top of mind awareness". A cheap way to
keep your name out there.
3) Tabs and special sections
Tabs, the cash cow for newspapers, are
manufactured events designed to sell ads. Progress
Editon. Easter Shopping Special. Dollar Days. You
name it, there is a tab every idea.
Typically a tab is the regular paper page turned
sideways (landscape) and folded in half.
Tabs get ad-on advertising dollars from existing
clients and offer one time only exposure to those
who don't normally use the paper (i.e. the giant
corporate ads in every Progress Edition). Most
papers have so many tabs, they print an
Understand them for what they are, vehicles to get
extra bucks from you. If you want to be in one,
rearrange your budget, don't ad to it.
4) Inserts and stuffers
Some Sunday papers weight 4 to 5 pounds each,
mostly for the weight of stuffers and inserts.
Usually reserved for national advertisers and big
box stores. They print them and deliver them to
the paper and pay a per piece fee to have them
stuffed and delivered. For smaller businesses
they become cost prohibitive. Better to stick with
Sunday papers have the biggest circulation, and ad
rates are more expensive. Regional and national
papers can be expensive, too. Local papers and
shoppers are less expensive, but nonetheless can
be a major part of a small business ad budget.
Newspaper advertising is sold by the column inch.
Different categories of ads and section placement
determine the rate and rates vary throughout the
paper. Rates also vary with advertisers, depending
on how many column inches they have agreed to buy
in a one year period. The more the cheaper.
Plan your advertising well in advance and stick to
your budget. Sell to needs, not ego and newspaper
can be your buddy.
For more about advertising, get my article
"What Does your telephone say about you?"
?2005 BIG Mike McDaniel, All Rights Reserved
BIG Mike is a Small Business Consultant,
Professional Speaker and former Major Market TV
News Anchor. http://BIGIdeasGroup.com
Subscribe to "BIG Mike's BIG Ideas" Newsletter