Research shows readers more likely to interact with local newspaper advertisers

By Lucia Elliott

The bronzed Aussie, obsessed with sport and the great outdoors, is a stereotype as well worn as 74-year-old Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan himself.

It’s true that Australians are mad about anything that involves a ball (round or oval … we’re not fussy!) and that more than 80,000 Aussies participate in Sydney’s annual fun run, City2Surf, making it the world’s largest.

But Aussies love exercising more than just their bodies. Aussies also love the routine workout their newspapers deliver, which get to the core of who they are, what they stand for, and where they’re going,

The “Local Newspapers Report,” commissioned by The Newspaper Works in 2012, surveyed 1,210 people in both country and metropolitan areas to define what role their regional and community titles played in their lives.

While the roles of different newspaper types – and particularly metropolitan newspapers --have been investigated individually in the past, the “Local Newspapers Report” has been one of the first to identify the complementary roles each of the three newspaper archetypes play in Aussies’ lives.

Our respondents told us they seek out different things from the daily workout they get with each of their newspapers:

  • National and metropolitan newspapers are like a mind gym: Thought-provoking, authoritative and mind-expanding, providing analysis and opinion, playing the role of trusted advisor, and responsible for setting the national news agenda.

  • Regional newspapers monitor a region’s vital signs: Reflect the mind and mood of a region, its relevance, and enhance its pride. They also act as local advocate and watchdog by holding their region’s authorities to account.

  • Community newspapers deliver a much-loved cardio workout: Full of practical advice and motivating “local hero” stories, they connect readers with each other and act as the heartbeat of the community.

These roles are important for advertisers in regional and community areas to understand because of:

  • The readers perceive that these newspapers are trustworthy.

  • They hold these newspapers in esteem.

  • They feel connected with these newspapers.

Local newspapers provide fertile territory for advertisers who similarly seek to engage readers with their advertising.

That’s because Aussies told us that they feel almost four times as positively disposed about a local business if it advertises in newspapers compared with local radio. They’re over three times as positive about newspaper advertising compared with letterbox flyers and coupons.

But it’s not just about the feel-good factor. The degree to which Aussies engage with and act on regional and community newspaper is also impressive:

  • They’re twice as likely to have inquired about a product or service from a newspaper ad than one on local radio.

  • They’re three times as likely to keep details from a newspaper ad than they are from flyers in their letterbox.

  • They’re twice as likely to visit a store or business as a result of a newspaper ad than one on local TV.

Consequently, wallets as well as hearts and minds are getting a serious workout thanks to the value Aussies place on regional and community newspaper advertising. 

About Lucia Elliott

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