Every advertising medium has characteristics that give it
natural advantages and limitations. As you look through your
newspaper(s), you'll notice some businesses that advertise
regularly. Observe who they are and how they advertise their
products and services. More than likely, their advertising
investment is working if it's selling!
Some Advantages in Newspaper Advertising
Almost every home in the United States receives a newspaper,
either by newsstand or home delivery. Reading the newspaper is a
habit for most families. And, there is something for everybody--
sports, comics, crosswords, news, classifieds, etc. You can reach
certain types of people by placing your ad in different sections of
the paper. People expect advertising in the newspaper. In fact,
many people buy the paper just to read the ads from the
supermarket, movies or department stores.
Unlike advertising on TV and radio, advertising in the
newspaper can be examined at your leisure. A newspaper ad can
contain details, such as prices and telephone numbers or coupons.
There are many advantages to advertising in the newspaper.
From the advertiser's point-of-view, newspaper advertising can be
convenient because production changes can be made quickly, if
necessary, and you can often insert a new advertisement on short
notice. Another advantage is the large variety of ad sizes
newspaper advertising offers. Even though you may not have a lot of
money in your budget, you can still place a series of small ads,
without making a sacrifice.
Some Disadvantages with Newspaper Advertising
Advertising in the newspaper offers many advantages, but it is
not without its inherent disadvantages, such as:
1. Newspapers usually are read once and stay in the house for just a day.
2. The print quality of newspapers isn't always the best, especially for photographs. So use simple artwork and line drawings for best results.
3. The page size of a newspaper is fairly large and small ads can look minuscule.
4. Your ad has to compete with other ads for the reader's attention.
5. You're not assured that every person who gets the newspaper will read your ad. They may not read the section you advertised in, or they may simply have skipped the page because there wasn't any interesting news on it.
How Should I Work with my Newspaper Representative?
Every newspaper has its own sales staff, and you're normally
appointed your personal newspaper "Sales Representative." A
newspaper sales rep can be very helpful. He or she can keep you
posted on special sections or promotions that may apply to your
business, but always keep in mind it is the sales rep's job to sell
Your sales rep might say that the newspaper can layout any of
your ads, pre-prepared or not. But these ads are assembly line
products and are not often very creative or eye-catching. Consider
using an artist or agency for your ads.
In addition, your sales rep can sometimes be instrumental in
making sure your story or upcoming announcement "finds" the right
reporter because the relationship between the advertising and
editorial staff is chummier than most people think, even though
they claim total anonymity.
Buying Newspaper Advertising Space
Since the Expanded Standard Advertising Unit System was
adopted back in 1984, it is now easier to buy advertising space in
newspapers. Advertising is sold by column and inch, instead of just
line rates. You can determine the size ad you want just by looking
in the newspaper in which you want to advertise. If you can't
locate an ad that's the size you want, just measure the columns
across and the inches down. For example, an ad that measures 3
columns across and 7 inches down would be a 21 inch ad. If the inch
rate is $45.67, your ad would cost $959.07. In case your newspaper
is still on the line rate system, remember there are 14 lines to an
inch. So, if the line rate is $3.75, multiply it by 14 and you will
have the cost of an inch rate. (the rate would be $45.50 an inch.)
Here are some other things to remember:
1. Newspaper circulation drops on Saturdays and increases on
Sundays, which is also the day a newspaper is read most thoroughly.
2. Position is important, so specify in what section you
want your ad to appear. Sometimes there's a surcharge for
exact position...but don't be afraid to pay for it if you need it.
3. Request an outside position for ads that have coupons.
That makes them easier to cut out.
4. If a newspaper is delivered twice daily
(morning/evening), it often offers "combination" rates or
discounts for advertising in both papers, You usually can
reach more readers, so this kind of advertising may be
something to consider.
Other important tips to remember are:
* Before you advertise, have in mind a definite plan for what it is you want to sell.
* Create short, descriptive copy for your ad. Include prices if applicable.
Consider using a copywriter or ask your newspaper for free copy assistance.
* Face your products toward the inside of the ad. If the product you want to use faces right, change your copy layout to the left.
* Be sure to include your company name and logo, address and telephone number in the ad.
* Neat, uncluttered and orderly ads encourage readership.
Don't try to crowd everything you can in the layout
space. If the newspaper helps you with the layout, be
sure to request a proof of the final version so you can
approve it or make changes before it is printed.
Always make sure you are satisfied with what your advertising says and how it looks before it goes to print.