What If We Pitched The Newspaper?

By readerwalker via Flickr.

By: John Sternal, guest blogger

Let me open up this guest blog post by quickly saying this is not about discussing whether social media is better than traditional media. Like thousands of other PR professionals out there, I’m growing tired of that conversation. So let’s just not even go there.

Ok, with that out of the way, let me tell you what’s been on my mind lately. I’ve fallen in love all over again with the print newspaper. Yes, that aging medium that’s already been put to rest in places like Denver and Seattle. You know what? I tried getting my news from the Internet and Twitter. There’s definitely something to be said for having up-to-the-minute access for news at your fingertips, at any given moment during the day.

But then there’s “absorbing” the news. Frankly, I absorb more news when I actually take 20 minutes each morning to hold the newspaper in my hands. Flip the pages. Scan the headlines. Stop and enjoy, again, the experience of reading through the news – in my hand. To me, the experience makes it worth the 20 minutes. Hell, let’s go crazy and spend a whopping 30 minutes.

Why hasn’t the newspaper industry embarked on a true PR campaign to push this message of the experience in stopping to read the newspaper each day?

I know what you’re thinking. John, even the newspaper people realize that the print edition isn’t the future. Maybe so. But why are we forcing it into a polarizing issue of it either works or it doesn’t? In my opinion, this argument forces us to miss the point.

Print newspapers can enhance the overall experience we get from a media company. I recently re-subscribed to my daily newspaper. I love it. I’ve been wondering the last few weeks why I ever stopped my subscription in the first place. (It’s almost as if the Internet forces us to feel like we don’t have time to get information elsewhere).

Let me summarize the business case for print newspapers. Marketers find the best results when an integrated campaign is built with social media, email marketing and direct mail (which includes print mailings). This integration drives the best results. Media companies should treat news the same way.

Now let me speak directly to the PR professionals for a second. What if we pitched newspapers? No, I’m not talking about pitching THEM one of OUR stories. What if we came to their rescue and pitched the benefits of reading the daily print newspaper?

To me, that’s one campaign that would stop the presses – in a good way.


John Sternal is a PR professional and blogger in South Florida. His website is Understanding Marketing and he is the author of the PR Toolkit. He has an eye for finding a news angle for just about any type of company or product and he helps small businesses and entrepreneurs gain the right type of media exposure to build a brand and obtain more customers.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved

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Comments

  1. Hi, great blog!

  2. I'm with you, John. It's funny: the more active I've become in social media, the more I value a few minutes every day with a good ol' fashioned print newspaper. I think it's because the experience is entirely different. Instead of bite-sized pieces of information constantly coming at me from 1,000 different directions, a print newspaper offers a deliberately constructed, go-at-your-own-pace format for consumption.

    It's ironic, but these days I find print newspapers more refreshing than I ever have before.

  3. Chris Jones says:

    My local newspaper has a serious problem with this, and that is that it is not mostly about LOCAL news. I already know all I need to about President Obama long before the paper hits my doorstep, but as for who won the Miss Lehi contest, and who she is, and what the competition was like, I have not a clue, and I'd like one.

    If my local paper were mostly about local news, I'd still be getting it. And I love print. I just don't have time for news that isn't new.

  4. Chris Jones says:

    My local newspaper has a serious problem with this, and that is that it is not mostly about LOCAL news. I already know all I need to about President Obama long before the paper hits my doorstep, but as for who won the Miss Lehi contest, and who she is, and what the competition was like, I have not a clue, and I'd like one.

    If my local paper were mostly about local news, I'd still be getting it. And I love print. I just don't have time for news that isn't new.

  5. Chris Jones says:

    My local newspaper has a serious problem with this, and that is that it is not mostly about LOCAL news. I already know all I need to about President Obama long before the paper hits my doorstep, but as for who won the Miss Lehi contest, and who she is, and what the competition was like, I have not a clue, and I'd like one.

    If my local paper were mostly about local news, I'd still be getting it. And I love print. I just don't have time for news that isn't new.

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