Category Archives: Other

Why newspaper advertising still matters

HERE’S A BRIEF PIECE from veteran political media consultant Tom Edmonds that makes the case for advertising in newspapers. I found it in the Bulletin of the South Carolin Press Association.

Edmonds makes a strong case.

Why newspaper advertising still matters

By Tom Edmonds

Convinced that fewer and fewer voters are turning to newspapers? Think again.

Just as soon as you’re sure about a new trend, a survey comes out and says, “Not so fast. That’s not exactly true.”

For instance, take a look at the “givens” in this year’s political landscape. Young voters are increasingly turning to the Internet for campaign news, right? Wrong. But at least Twittter and Facebook play big roles when it comes to getting campaign information, right? Wrong. And nobody but senior citizens gets their news from newspapers anymore, right? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

For starters take a look at the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey of over 1,500 adults (read that 18 plus) conducted January 4-8. It found that young adults—18-29 year olds—who get their campaign news online declined from a high of 42% in 2008 to just 29 % today.

Even among Facebook and Twitter users Pew reports that “most say they hardly ever or never learn about the campaigns or candidates through those sources.” Where then do young voters get their campaign news (if they get it at all)? Maybe they’re among the 9% that rely on late- night comedy shows to find out what’s going on. Should we be concerned that this big important voting bloc is not serious about our elections? Well maybe not.

Under 30’s were only 18% of the total voters in 2008. I guess there was no “rock” in Rock the Vote. In fact, this group was the least likely to actually show up and vote. The most reliable voting bloc? That would be seniors by a mile. In fact, 70% of Americans 65+ voted in the last major election followed by 69% of those 45-64.

I know what you’re thinking. Where do the most likely voters get their campaign news? Well it’s not late-night comedy shows or Twitter, that’s for sure. It’s actually newspapers. A whopping 80% of voters 35 and older are regular readers of newspapers in print or online. Yes, I said online.

According to another national survey in January of this year, Moore Information’s American Voters Media Use Study, one in four Americans report using a mobile device for campaign news and of those newspaper sources are the number one choice for 58%. Even among young voters who do use smartphones et al for campaign news a whopping 62% go to newspaper sources. And it’s not just “mobile devices.” Newspaper websites rank #1 in 22 of the top 25 largest markets.

Need more proof that newspapers have made a comeback when it comes to political news and advertising? In the 2002 elections, the newspaper industry collected a paltry $35 million for political advertising. It’s likely that more money was spent on bumper stickers that year. But fast forward to 2010 and the newspaper industry increased their take nearly tenfold to over $300 million in political ad sales.

So, will newspaper advertising be hyped as the hot new trendy thing for the 2012 elections? Not likely. Then again, just when you’re sure you know something it turns out not to be true.

Tom Edmonds is a veteran political media consultant based in Washington, D.C. He is past president of the American Association of Political Consultants and the current chairman of the International Association of Political Consultants.

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Trust comes first

HERE’S A PLUS FOR NEWSPAPERS: Those between the ages of of 18 and 35 were most likely to see newspapers as credible.

The number of people who care about who reported something first is rapidly diminishing. Instead, what matters most is the trustworthiness of the source. These findings are reported in a recent survey on attitudes toward the media.

The survey was designed to look at consumer perceptions of both social media and mainstream media sources such as television, radio, Internet news sites and newspapers, and it was focused specifically on news coverage of the upcoming U.S. election.

When it comes to “perceived credibility,” traditional news outlets can take some comfort from the fact that the survey showed that newspapers, cable news and network news sources have the highest levels of credibility, much higher than blogs and social media sources. But the bad news is that only about 22 percent of those surveyed said they found traditional sources to be credible (blogs and social media were seen as credible by just 6 percent).

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Steve Jobs as Jimmy Stewart

LAST WEEK, I received the following from John Ludwig, a follower in Blair, NE. I’m happy to follow up on his suggestion and run the Steve Jobs piece.

Oh…and by the way…I’m also a big fan of Jimmy Stewart and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Here’s John’s note:

Ed,

I sent you a link to collection of newspaper front pages from around the world after the death of Steve Jobs a little while back.
Well, Friday would’ve marked Steve Jobs’s 57th birthday, had he lived to see it.
And in honor of his birthday, fans of Apple and Steve jobs have been sending this piece all over this vast Interwebs of ours; this article has been making its way around the tech blogs and Apple fansites this week. It’s an old piece; but a great one, and one that seems quite fitting to reflect on Steve’s birthday.
This article was originally published in Macworld Magazine, January of 1998. The author is David Pogue, who has gone on to become a tech columnist for the New York Times, and author of the popular “Missing Manual” series of books for various Apple gadgets and software.
I’m not sure that the article has ever existed on Macworld’s official website (let’s remember, 1998 was eons ago in terms of the Internet), but several enterprising folks have typed it up and circulated it around the Internet.
(That being said, if you want to throw a shout-out to David’s work, his website is www.davidpogue.com — I’m sure he’d appreciate a plug, if you want to throw this up on your blog, Ed.)
David Pogue’s classic Steve Jobs column is below.
It’s a wonderful, Capra-esque tribute to Jobs, and his impact on multiple industries — including our own: print.
If you’ve never read it before, I recommend it. And being an Apple fan, I thought you’d enjoy it. (And if you did read it back in ’98, it’s worth another read, especially through the lens of Apple’s vast growth in recent years.)
Enjoy, Ed.
—John Ludwig
Copyeditor / Page Designer
Enterprise Publishing
Blair, Nebraska

It’s a Wonderful Machine

by David Pogue, Macworld, January ’98

I guess I shouldn’t have gone to a party where the eggnog was spiked, and maybe I shouldn’t have watched the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” while leafing through MacWeek.

But anyway, I had the weirdest dream last night–like a bizarre black-and-white movie that went like this: Jimmy Stewart stars as Steve “Jobs” Bailey, who runs a beleaguered but beloved small-town computer company. For years, big monopolist Bill “Gates” Potter has been wielding his power and money to gain control of the town. And for years, Steve has fought for survival: “This town needs my measly, one-horse computer, if only to have something for people to use instead of Windows!”

But now an angry mob is banging on Apple’s front door, panicking. “The press says your company is doomed!” yells one man. “You killed the clones! We’re going to Windows!” calls another. “We want out of our investment!” they shout.

Steve, a master showman, calms them. “Don’t do it! If Potter gets complete control of the desktop, you’ll be forced to buy his bloatware and pay for his cruddy upgrades forever! We can get through this, but we’ve got to have faith and stick together!” The crowd decides to give him one more chance.

But the day before Christmas, something terrible happens: On his way to the bank, the company’s financial man, Uncle Gilly, somehow manages to lose $1.7 billion. With eyes flashing, Steve grabs the befuddled Gilly by the lapels. “Where’s that money, you stupid old fool? Don’t you realize what this means? It means bankruptcy and scandal! Get out of my company–and don’t come back!”

Desperate and afraid, Steve heads to Martini’s, a local Internet cafe, and drowns his sorrows in an iced cappuccino. Surfing the Web at one of the cafe’s Macs, all he finds online is second-guessing, sniping by critics, and terrible market-share numbers.

As a blizzard rages, Steve drives his car crazily toward the river. “Oh, what’s the use?!” he exclaims. “We’ve lost the war. Windows rules the world. After everything I’ve worked for, the Mac is going to be obliterated! Think of all the passion and effort these last 15 years–wasted! Think of the billions of dollars, hundreds of companies, millions of people . . . .” He stands on the bridge, staring at the freezing, roiling river below–and finally hurls himself over the railing.

After a moment of floundering in the chilly water, however, he’s pulled to safety by a bulbous-nosed oddball. “Who are you?!” Steve splutters angrily.

“Name’s Clarence–I mean Claris,” says the guy. “I’m your guardian angel. I’ve been sent down to help you–it’s my last chance to earn my wings.”

“Nobody can help me,” says Steve bitterly. “If I hadn’t created the Mac, everybody’d be a lot happier: Mr. Potter, the media, even our customers. Hell, we’d all be better off if the Mac had never been invented at all!”

Music swirls. The wind howls. The tattoo on Steve’s right buttock–Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story–vanishes.

Steve pats the empty pocket where he usually carries his Newton. “What gives?”

“You’ve got your wish,” says Claris. “You never invented the Mac. It never existed. You haven’t a care in the world.”

“Look, little fella, go off and haunt somebody else,” Steve mutters. He heads over to Martini’s Internet cafe for a good stiff drink. But he’s shocked at the difference inside. “My God, look at the people using these computers! Both of them–they look like math professors!”

“They are,” says Claris.

“What is this, a museum? It looks like those computers are running DOS!”

“Good eye!” says Claris. “DOS version 25.01, in fact–the very latest.”

“I don’t get it,” Steve says.

“DOS is a lot better and faster these days, but it hasn’t occurred to anybody to market a computer with icons and menus yet. There’s no such thing as Windows–after all, there never was a Mac interface for Microsoft to copy.”

“But this equipment is ancient!” Steve exclaims. “No sound, no CD-ROM drive, not even 3.5-inch floppies!”

“Those aren’t antiques!” Claris says. “They’re state-of-the-art Compaqs, complete with the latest 12X, 5-inch-floppy drives. Don’t forget, Steve: The Mac introduced and standardized all that good stuff you named.”

“But that’s nuts!” Steve explodes. “You mean to tell me that the 46 percent of American households with computers are all using DOS?”

“Correction: All 9 percent of American households,” says Claris cheerfully. “Without a graphic interface, computers are still too complicated to be popular.”

“Bartender!” shouts Steve. “You don’t have a copy of Wired here, do you? I’ve got to read up on this crazy reality!”

The bartender glares. “I don’t know what you’re wired on, pal, but either stop talking crazy or get outta my shop.”

“No such thing as Wired,” whispers Claris. “Never was. Before you wished the Mac away, most magazines were produced entirely on the Mac. Besides Wired would be awfully thin without the Web.”

“Without the–now, wait just a minute!” Horrified, Steve rushes over to one of the PCs and connects to the Internet. “You call this the Net? It looks like a text-only BBS–and there’s practically nobody online! Where’s Navigator? Where’s Internet Explorer? Where’s the Web, for Pete’s sake?”

“Oh, I see,” Claris smiles sympathetically. “You must be referring to all those technologies that spun off from the concept of a graphic interface. Look, Steve. Until the Mac made the mouse standard, there was no such thing as point and click. And without clicking, there could be no Web . . . and no Web companies. Believe it or not, Marc Andreesen works in a Burger King in Cincinnati.”

Steve scoffs. “Well, look, if you apply that logic, then PageMaker wouldn’t exist either. Photoshop, Illustrator, FreeHand, America Online, digital movies–all that stuff began life on the Mac.”

“You’re getting it,” Claris says. He holds up a copy of Time magazine. “Check out the cover price.”

Steve gasps. “Eight bucks? They’ve got a lot of nerve!”

“Labor costs. They’re still pasting type onto master pages with hot wax.”

“You’re crazy!” screams Steve. “I’m going back to my office at Apple!” He drives like a madman back to Cupertino–but the sign that greets him there doesn’t say, “Welcome to Apple.” It says, “Welcome to Microsoft South.”

“Sorry, Steve; Apple went out of business in 1985,” says Claris. “You see, you really did have a wonderful machine! See what a mistake it was to wish it away?”

Steve is sobbing, barely listening. “OK, then–I’ll go to my office at Pixar!”

“You don’t have an office at Pixar,” Claris reminds him. “There was no Mac to make you rich enough to buy Pixar!”

Steve has had enough. He rushes desperately back to the icy bridge over the river. “Please, God, bring it back! Bring it back! I don’t care about market share! Please! I want the Mac to live again!”

Music, wind, heavenly voices–and then snow begins softly falling.

“Hey, Steve! You all right?” calls out Steve’s friend Larry from a passing helicopter. Steve pats his pocket–the Newton is there again! It’s all back! Steve runs through the town, delirious with joy. “Merry Christmas, Wired! Merry Christmas, Internet! Merry Christmas, wonderful old Microsoft!”

And now his office is filled with smiling people whose lives the Mac has touched. There’s old Mr. Chiat/Day the adman. There’s Yanni the musician. And there’s Mr. Spielberg the moviemaker. As the Apple board starts singing “Auld Lang Syne,” somebody boots up a Power Mac.

Steve smiles at the startup sound. “You know what they say,” he tells the crowd. “Every time you hear a startup chime, an angel just got his wings.”

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Back in the time of the pharaohs…

EVEN WEIGH BACK in the daze of hieroglyphics…there were copy editors!

When I was a young copy editor (yes, I was young once!), I remember reading:

“The strongest drive in the human soul is not sex, hunger or greed—it is the urge to change someone else’s copy!

This comic, which I saw on the Facebook pages of follower Missy Thompson, brought all that back in a flash. Thanks, Missy!

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A history of handwriting

THERE’S A LOT MORE TO IT than this report offers, but CNN offers this brief outline on the history of handwriting.

The report also focuses on the link between calligraphy and computers, and how some of that has come full circle.

For us word-and-visuals wonks, it’s an interesting look at how we got from…uhhh…a to z.

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Blackout poetry

NEWSPAPERS ARE BEING USED…AGAIN. But this is a bit different. Austin Keon developed the idea and has a book—Newspaper Blackout—to prove it.

It’s like writing poetry as sculpture: The words are all there but you have to blot a lot of them out to get to those that really mean something. I’ve tried it. It works! Good mental exercise for us word-and-visual people.

Take a look here.

Then give it a shot yourself. Looks easy. But we all know: Looks are deceiving.

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Readers vote…and voters read

NEWSPAPERS HAVE A CLEAR ADVANTAGE in reaching and motivating those highly likely to vote. Campaigns and advocates seeking effective advertising to reach their target audiences need look no further than the local newspaper.”

So says a recent study on voting and media habits, as reported by the Newspaper Association of America.

Here’s more:

  • Eighty-six percent of voters who cast ballots in the last local election read newspapers in print or online, with levels of engagement holding consistent among voters identifying as Republican, Democratic or Independent.
  • Newspapers and their websites consistently outscore other media for being “reliable,” “accurate” and “in-depth” about local civic and political issues.

To download a PowerPoint presentation on the full study, go here.

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