Study says 2/3 of residents read local newspaper

Once again, both a National Newspaper Association study and a Newspaper Association of America study recently released reinforce the continued strength and vitality of newspapers and newspaper websites, whether community, weekly, or daily.

In the newly released NNA study (conducted in September and November 2013), two – thirds of community residents in small towns and cities read their local newspaper at least once and up to seven times a week!

Almost five out of ten (47 percent) residents indicated that their community’s newspaper and newspaper website were their preferred or primary source of information. About 78 percent of adults are quite attached to following local news and information, and local newspapers are by far the source they rely on for much of the local information they need, reinforcing the perceived value and strengths of local newspapers as a community asset.

Throughout their community, local newspapers are shared and passed along with an average pass along rate of 2.48 — up from previous years’ studies. Likewise, 54 percent of readers have clipped a newspaper story or shared a link with someone else in their community. And 49 percent of a community’s online users would choose their newspaper’s website as their favored source of information for local news — almost twice as many as the next identified local media source.

Complementing the NNA findings, the NAA found that 56 percent of Millennial, those young adults age 18 to 34, still want newspaper media content in a typical week, in print or online.

Newspapers and newspaper web sites are the “value collection” — a content combination of local news and advertising, interacting with the community in a timely manner, with a unique, trusted and well-established brand that delivers identifiable and measurable results day after day or week after week.

Why? Because newspapers, whether in print or online, have a distinct local audience that trusts them. 

Loyalty is print's strongest selling point. People choose to spend dedicated, uninterrupted time focused on your newspaper. 

It is all about the quality of the audience. Our newspaper web site visitors are loyal and interactive returning to their newspaper web site several times per day. Newspaper web site visitors continue spending more and more time on your newspaper web site rather than as eyeballs darting around the Internet!

Newspapers’ web sites, much like their print products, deliver original, high-quality content that continually attracts a highly educated audience, building a powerful and engaged audience.

Who typically has the largest Internet media footprint in a community and in the local marketplace? You do! 

Through a local environment of news and advertising, your newspaper and your newspaper web site create the marketplace for your community.

Newspapers are still the one! Does everyone at your newspaper know? Do your friends, community associates, advertisers and potential advertisers know? Let’s not be the best-kept secret in our community.

By Chuck Nau

Chuck Nau, of Murray & Nau, Inc., is a publishing consultant with more than 25 years of experience, having served the Seattle Times, Knight-Ridder Newspapers and the Chicago Tribune in a number of management, marketing, media and sales capacities.

Nau’s work as a publishing consultant includes clients who are newspapers, publishing associations and niche publications. His practice enables him to put his wide range of publishing experience to work for publishers, sales management teams and senior managers on both a day to day and special project basis. He has assisted clients as a management consultant, sales trainer, facilitator and coach/mentor in advertising, circulation and marketing areas.

In addition to his consulting practice, Nau has spoken to and conducted workshops for a number of national publishing groups, state press associations, and newspaper organizations throughout North America. He has written a series of columns covering topics in advertising, management, marketing, and sales which have appeared in various newspaper industry and press association publications.