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The study, by The Neil Budde Group and the Advanced Interactive Media Group, reports some newspapers may be forced to drop from daily to less frequent publication and that print margins are likely to erode as advertising migrates online and advertisers choose pay-for-performance and self-service ads. In addition, it states, yellow pages may become more immediate competitors to newspapers, noting that two yellow-page publishers have purchased large classified-advertising publications for integration into online services.
Build the 'newspaper' website. Put up your masthead. Add community message boards. Online classifieds. Obits. Tie in a business directory and yellow pages feed. Encourage community contribution by responsible citizens that get modest compensation or some other incentive. Give local government admins each a page to update about community events. Ditto sports leagues, clubs, etc. Populate those pages with ad feeds. Provide for photo uploads of major news events by Average Joe.
Change the model but don't. Local news and events is still about having community presence and connections, people willing to talk to the local reporter. Ditch the printing presses. Ditch the rolls of newsprint and delivery trucks, shrink the size of the building that houses 'the paper'. A 'paper' that once ran on 25-250 employees now runs on 5-25 full-time and an assortment of work at home part-timers.
Nobody does local like the local news rag. People still benefit and see some benefit.
They will evole.
Or, maybe, just go out of business.
The Yellow Pages and/or any printed phonebooks for that matter are also a waste of valuable resources. A few weeks ago I came home to find two large phonebooks (about 3 inches thick) in front of my door. I didn't ask for them and I don't use them. They went right to the trash bin. Guess what, it looks like 90% of the community where I live also had the same response.
95% of my clients have discontinued their Yellow Page advertising. At $18,000 USD for an 1/8th page ad (yearly subscription), it just wasn't worth it for most as they are gaining more of their business through online resources.
As the digital age continues to evolve, expect to see many of the paper based advertising outlets to either rethink their strategies or go out of business as stated above.
P.S. A little OT, how many times have you read the local paper to find that your hands are filthy afterwards? I wonder if there are any health hazards associated with the ink that is absorbed by your hands while handling the newspaper. ;)
The key is "sale force". Have feet on the street is critical. They can sell a small ad to a pizza joint off main street easily. When trained they will begin selling the online version also.
It will be many years (or many many years) before the mom and pop biz really bring ad buys DIRECTLY online (vs. buying thru their current offline yellow page sales guy)
First it will be ridiculed (when goto first launched)
Second it will be generally accepted (market now)
Third it will be assumed to be obvious (2006)
The feet on the street is an issue now, as the masses are still resisting but very quickly, the entire market will shift. I predict 2006/2007 after which point only the minority will not advertise online.
PS Can someone help me with the name of the philospher who had the 3 rules I lifted the above from. I cannot remember who it was.
High spend+hard to quantify return=crap advertising model. Now people don't need them anymore and they're crying...
Some offline publications just need to fire some sales staff, swallow their pride and begin hacking away at that massive chip on their shoulder...