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The 40-year-old Millennial: 6 days without a printed newspaper

19 January 2015 · By Kevin Curnock

Print newspapers are keenly aware that their audiences are greying. Media pundits routinely decry the medium’s failure to attract the younger generation (see “How newspapers lost the millennials”).

Personally, I am a newspaper reader – the kind of newspaper that you throw in the recycling bin when you are finished with it. This is another way of saying that I am long in the tooth. Indeed, later this year I will be turning the Big Four-Oh.

And thus, in the spirit of unscientific experiments, I’ve decided to read like a Millennial for a week. I will eschew my morning newspaper and I will consume news as though I am Gen Y.

My plan is simple.

For seven days, I’ll forgo my daily newspaper and read only ...


Toronto Star meets advertiser need with national reach to schools

15 January 2015 · By Nadine Chevolleau

It’s no secret that tweens and teens do not represent a large audience for newspapers. In fact, seeing a young person reading a newspaper would probably cause heads to turn and stare.

While the newspaper may not be a young person’s first choice for news and information, it is still very much used as a trusted educational resource in schools. Indeed, we have advocates in the form of educators who are driving students to newspaper content as a reliable tool in the classroom.

Several months ago, an advertising client inquired about our ability to reach schools across Canada through the Toronto Star Newspapers in Education (NIE) programme.

Like most regional newspapers, our NIE programme distributes newspapers and education resources to schools within our delivery area, so we don’t have the ability to reach schools outside Ontario.

But this advertiser wasn’t looking for a standard, in-newspaper advertisement. Instead, the advertiser wanted ...


3 steps from New York Times reader to subscriber

05 January 2015 · By Sonia Yamada

What makes a digital news reader decide to become a subscriber?

This is a fundamental question that we in the digital news media business ask ourselves every day.

To get a new perspective on this question, we at the Consumer Insight Group at The New York Times spoke with our readers to render a “mental map” of our engaged, but non-subscribing, Web site visitors as they make the decision to subscribe to other digital entertainment and information sources.

Here’s what we found. Digital subscribers are born when three requirements are met, namely ...


10 New Year’s resolutions for news media companies in 2015

28 December 2014 · By Dan Johnson

Well, we made it through another year! There are some who didn’t think the industry would make it this far. Even as far back as the late ‘90s, I can recall dire predictions about the newspaper industry only having a few years left.

Web sites such as Newspaper Death Watch have been tracking layoffs, restructurings, and newspaper closings for years. Not too long ago, I read an article that predicted the end of free-standing inserts by 2015.

Yet somehow, year after year, we’ve proven these predictions wrong.

Even in the face of a much more diverse media landscape, there are some things that newspapers have that no one else can duplicate. And now, we’re running leaner operations with more digitally savvy staffs. We’re no doubt smaller entities with fewer employees, but arguably this just means that we’re operating more efficiently. In fact, some newspapers are ...


New Year’s resolution: Lose those extra pounds (in your subscriber acquisition budget)

21 December 2014 · By Jim Fleigner

As we approach the end of another year, we reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and create resolutions for the upcoming year.

For some of us, our personal resolution might be to drop those extra 10 pounds, which were gained very slowly and subtly over a long period of time.

A professional resolution might be to do something about subscriber acquisition because “the current approaches no longer work,” as one prospective client recently told us.

The biggest reason for this is because many subscriber acquisition budgets are simply overweight; that is, too much money is being spent for not enough payback. And just as was the case for those extra 10 pounds, the extra “weight” in the subscriber acquisition budget was gained very slowly and subtly over years.

So why not adopt a similar New Year’s resolution, using a similar approach to weight loss?

Continuing with this analogy, it is instructive to consider Impact Consultancy’s contributions to this Satisfying Audiences blog in 2014, as they offered a recurring theme of “losing weight” in subscriber acquisition, which is especially timely as we look ahead toward new business resolutions in 2015.

Just like with personal weight loss, the first obstacle to overcome is acknowledging that a problem exists in the first place, rather than making excuses as to why weight loss is not possible or too hard.

Here were some of the most common refrains we heard from circulation executives in 2014 as to why they could or would not proceed with a subscriber acquisition “weight loss” programme, along with our proposed solutions ...


Evolving digital connectivity changes holiday advertising

02 December 2014 · By Kathleen Coleman

The weeks approaching Christmas mid-1970s in my childhood home worked like this: My two older sisters passed the Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog back and forth between them in their off-limits teen bedroom, hoarding it until my brother could steal it away.

Then the two of us passed it back and forth, making Christmas wish lists on three-hole notebook paper to hand off to our parents well in advance of December 25.

Awe-inspiring in their greed and detail, the lists spelled out on what page of the slick holiday book the desired object could be found, along with the desired size (if applicable) and quantity (if one was feeling especially piggish).

Certainly our parents could have used these lists to peer deeply into our childish psyches for clues to the state of our family (for example, a request for matching tartan pajamas, gowns, and slippers for the entire family, including a wrap for the dog) or about the needful urge to transform the yard into a neighbourhood park (for example, a request for a 16-foot octagon trampoline).

In its wondrous pages could be found things ...


10 seasonal sales ideas for the circulation director who has everything

23 November 2014 · By Lynne Brennen

As we head into the last stretch of 2014, don’t forget to take advantage of the big seasonal opportunities for subscription sales.

Here are 10 ideas just to get you started.

Cyber Monday and digital December

The Monday after the United States’ Thanksgiving is the busiest online shopping day of the year, and that digital shopping enthusiasm continues throughout December. Tips for riding that wave:

  • Deploy a large e-mail campaign late in the morning on Cyber Monday so your offer is near the top of the inbox when the eager shoppers wake up.

  • “Today only!” Boost sales response with a seasonal, time-bound, deeply discounted offer to your best prospects and former subscribers in return for ...

Behind the scenes of Toronto Star’s C$10 million niche print business

17 November 2014 · By Sandy MacLeod

In early September, Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst and author of Newsonomics, published an article in the Nieman Journalism Lab about the Toronto Star’s C$10 million niche print business.

Since the article appeared, I have had several people contact me seeking details, which I have gladly given to them.

Here is what I’ve told them.

Importantly, it is true that there are incremental profits in our print businesses. The key point, though, is that we ...


News media companies need to utilise Facebook, YouTube to their fullest extent

02 November 2014 · By Dan Johnson

While pretty much all news media companies are on Facebook and YouTube, are they truly engaging their social media audiences?

Newspapers are generally the best at multi-media offerings in their market. They are content generators and aggregators, marketers and advertising platforms, government watchdogs and entertainment guides.

Newspapers have among the best Web sites, and no other medium even comes close when it comes to mobile offerings.

One area, however, where newspapers need to develop a stronger presence is on social media.

Social media and search sites such as Facebook and YouTube provide wonderful audience development opportunities for newspapers. There are a wide range of different demographics, geographics, age groups, etc., all able to be targeted.

But to reach these audiences, newspapers must do more than just post stories and video from their Web sites.

To effectively utilise social media as an audience development tool ...


How relevant is your newspaper?

21 October 2014 · By Anne Crassweller

Technology allows newspapers to target digital content based on readers’ previous behaviour. Satisfying audiences is about making sure content is relevant, interesting, and engaging to readers.

The majority of Canadians consider newspapers to be the most credible and comprehensive source for news and information. They value newspapers because they are informative, convenient to navigate, and are a trusted source that presents varied perspectives and provides up-to-date information.

The chart below highlights the full range of positive values of readers in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, Canada’s largest cities.

Individuals who harbour positive attitudes toward newspapers have higher readership than adults generally.

The most “engaged” readers are the readers who look to their newspapers for a perspective on the news. Readers count on ...


About this blog

The Satisfying Audiences Blog aims to reflect print and digital content not just across platforms but extending into consumer events, non-news-related subscriptions and other audience vehicles for newsmedia companies. This blog written by INMA members is dedicated to identifying the emerging linkages between content, audiences, and platforms. The blog is an initiative by the INMA North America Division Board of Directors.

Meet the bloggers

Lynne Brennen
New Leaf Media Consulting
Montclair, New Jersey, USA
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Nadine Chevolleau
Consumer Marketing
The Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Elisabeth Clark
Vice President
Audience & Engagement
South Bend Tribune
Indiana, USA
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Kathleen Coleman
Sales & Marketing
S-R Media
Spokane, Washington, USA
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Kevin Curnock
Executive Director
Business Improvement
Brunswick News
St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
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Jim Fleigner
Managing Partner
Impact Consultancy
Santa Monica, California, United States
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Claire Hawley
Audience Acquisition
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, California, USA
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Dan Johnson
Vice President,
Business Development
Gilbert, Arizona, USA
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Sandy MacLeod
Chief Operating Officer, Print
The Toronto Star/Metro English
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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John Newby
The Times
Ottawa, Illinois, USA
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Nicki Purcell
Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Consumer Sales
The Dallas Morning News
Dallas, Texas, USA
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Maria Terrell
Director of Content
Dallas, Texas, USA
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New York City, New York, USA


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