Tag Archives: voting

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.


Leave a comment

Filed under Other

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).


Filed under Other

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.


Filed under Other

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Other