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Report shows community papers lead the pack

Two out of five residents in metropolitan areas read their community newspaper each week, and they rely on it for information about their community.*

Community newspapers outperform every other media when it comes to providing information about their local communities, especially how to find businesses and services in their area.

This is a key finding from a recent study by The Newspaper Works into the roles different media play in readers’ lives, and how they use local newspapers as part of this mix.

The results showed that community newspapers play a distinctive and important role in readers’ lives, including helping them make local shopping decisions.

Some 6 out of 7 say their community newspaper, in print and digital formats, keeps them up-to-date on businesses in their area, outperforming catalogues (24%) by more than three times. Online search (17%) wasn’t rated as even one-fifth as effective as local newspapers.


Newspapers outperform other media in driving awareness

More community readers are introduced to new products and services by their local newspaper than any other advertising platform.

Readers look to their community newspaper to learn about new stores and services opening in their neighbourhood and to keep up to date about new products and fresh promotions offered by local retailers.


Television, catalogues and national and metro newspapers contribute to building awareness, with one in three readers selecting each of these.

The large footprint of television and national/metro newspapers provide an effective way to reach large numbers of consumers, but lack the ability to zero-in on local communities.

Catalogues can be local, but lack the diversity of advertisers found in a local newspaper.

Online search is an important marketing tool, but it’s not where most readers turn for information about new products and services. Only one in four consider search as a source of information for discovering new products and services.

Why newspaper media builds top-of-mind-awareness

Advertisers want to get their message in front of prospects to create awareness, stir interest and stay top-of-mind for shoppers when they’re ready to buy.

The first objective for an advertiser is to build awareness. It’s hard to sell to shoppers who don’t know you’re in business.

Using advertising to build awareness is even more effective when consumers actively turn to a specific media, such as newspapers, to find this information.

Broadcast media has limitations when providing local business information compared with newspapers. There’s only so much information that can fit in a 30 second TVC or radio commercial.

Newspapers are a reliable source of information. They are an “on-demand” media. Readers can read the content they want, when they choose to do so, at whatever the pace they like. This makes it easier for readers to find an ad, and keep it or return to it later.

Newspapers, in print and online, are a superior platform for providing detailed information. They carry more content about local businesses than broadcast media, and make it easy for readers to find the information they want when it suits them.


*Source: emma, 12 months to February 2016. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+, Nielsen Digital Ratings (Monthly), February 2016

Read Part 2 of Think Local: Community News Media report here.
Read Part 3 of Think Local: Community News Media report here.

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