Advertising is an incredibly powerful tool of communication and surveys have shown that advertising in local newspapers is the most successful method for driving consumer action. This is not surprising considering that, according to The Newspaper Society, 58% of adults (including myself) read a local newspaper, which makes local press a key media platform for advertisers.
As I mentioned in my previous blog entry local press has been proven to be the most trusted media channel, and so it is easy to understand why over 60% of people act on the ads in local newspapers*. Local newspapers are highly valued by the public and seeing something advertised in the local media provides shoppers with reassurance as they know that the service or product is available locally.
I know that I personally take notice of what I read in my local newspaper, the Sutton Coldfield Observer, as it always contains updates, advertisements and information about what’s on in my local area and so it is often my first point of call when I’m looking for somewhere to go on the weekend or even the number for my local takeaway.
It is clearly beneficial then for companies to get involved with their local community as it is proven that people who read their local newspaper will often recommend what they have seen in the local press, in particular local advertising. Just this week I was planning on taking a trip to my local pub with friends for a drink (or two), but not before my Mom showed me a review in my local paper for a new bar and restaurant that had recently opened in my area claiming it served the best cocktails in the whole of the Sutton area…Well let’s just say it was not long before I found myself drinking a Long Island Iced Tea in said bar, and all as a result of what I read in the local newspaper.
What is more, in a survey by The Newspaper Society, 65% of people said that they would take more notice of national Government advertising or public information messages if they saw them in their local newspaper. This really highlights the impact of local media on the public and changes the way that we perceive local newspapers, as although the reader numbers of local newspapers are in decline they are undoubtedly a significant means of communicating with individuals and communities.
I can’t help but wonder what this means for us…as although advertising and public relations are not the same thing (a common mistake made by many), this piece of information is still incredibly valuable to those working in the PR industry. If the readers of local newspapers are more than twice as likely to act on advertisements seen in local media than ads on television and social media then the local press obviously holds a lot of weight over individuals, and so is an important medium for us as communications specialists interacting with various audiences.
* The Newspaper Society.