Local Newspapers Bridge Connection Between Marketers and Small-​Town Residents

Despite the hype about how U.S. consumers are getting all of their news online or via their smartphones, there’s one category of newspapers that is attracting plenty of attention. A significant percentage of consumers regularly read their community newspapers, in print. And this behavior means that marketers can reach a unique audience by advertising in these newspapers.

The Community Newspaper Readership Study which is regularly conducted by the National Newspaper Association and The Reynolds Journalism Institute has consistently found that nearly ¾’s, 73%, of consumers read their local papers. Over 90% of consumers pay to subscribe to these papers and 78% of surveyed respondents read the publication from cover to cover. Further, newspapers are kept close at hand for 2+ days which gives prospective shoppers a chance to review ads.

The biggest draw for subscribing to these newspapers is to obtain local news as the following survey results indicate when consumers are asked which media format is most used for local information:

  • Local newspapers 51%
  • TV 17%
  • Friends/​relatives 18%
  • Radio 6%
  • Internet 8%

While consumers say they appreciate the quality of writing and accuracy of local news coverage, they also agree that the newspapers “provide valuable local shopping and advertising information.”  Local advertisers will likely continue to include community newspapers in their media mix for some time to come.

[Source: Fleming et al. Annual Report of Readership. Rjionline​.org. 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 5 Jan. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.