Editor’s note: The following is an unsolicited testimonial about the advantages of advertising in The Rock River Times (TRRT). While the author of the column, Paul Gorski, and TRRT Editor and Publisher Frank Schier have informally discussed ad revenue approaches for some time, Gorski submitted this column on his own and is not being compensated in any way by TRRT for his column.
By Paul Gorski
The print version of The Rock River Times (TRRT) is read by more than 40,000 people every week, and the online version is read by almost 30,000 unique visitors every month, as reported in: “Editorial: The Rock River Times shares circulation audit results,” Aug. 20-26, 2014, issue. These are great numbers, as they show a steady increase in readership, and they prove that local residents, your potential customers, read TRRT.
Ads in weekly newspapers have more staying power as they are held and read more often by your potential customers. The circulation audit report for TRRT confirms this: “A majority of readers, 62 percent, keep our newspaper for a minimum of three days, while 23 percent keep the paper for one week or longer. …” These readers are perfect customers for many local businesses, too, as 72 percent of the readers make more than $50,000 per year, and 85 percent of the readership is between the ages of 25 and 64. Active people with disposable incomes, what more could a local business ask?
I am not alone in these opinions. “For small businesses, positive returns are often present with hyperlocal newspapers because the papers publish community news and events. By association, your ad finds its way onto a local reader’s radar screen.” (“Is It Worth It To Advertise In Your Local Newspaper?” at http://smallbiztrends.com/2012/04/worth-it-advertise-local-newspaper.html). Also, “By advertising with a trusted local newspaper that has a loyal customer base, you can build a positive reputation in the community simply through this association.” (“What Are the Benefits of Local Newspaper Advertising?” at http://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-local-newspaper-advertising-39747.html.)
I have attempted to explain the specific benefits of print ads to potential ad buyers; your sales pitch needs to be specific for your customers, too. Well-designed print ads can help create new business, support a fund-raising effort, or promote a specific community event. Customers respond well to print and online ads that: 1) have a clear, benefit-driven headline, 2) a specific offer that your audience wants, 3) a time-limited offer that requires the customer to take an action, and 4) state how to take advantage of the offer. Examples: Live band, free appetizers. Buy-one-get-one-free shirt or blouse. Half-price brake pads and rotors this weekend only.
Color ads work best, and I recommend limiting the ad to two typefaces. Contact your salesperson or call (815) 964-9767 if you need help building the ad. Please do not call me. My interest in this is only to help promote local businesses and to help local businesses succeed. I used to write ad copy and am still involved in advertising, so I know that well-designed print and online ads, with messages appropriate for your customers, do work.
We will be more successful in buying and shopping locally if businesses advertise locally.
Paul Gorski (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper.
From the Sept. 3-9, 2014, issue