Newspaper advertising benefits everyone - Oconee Enterprise: Online Features

     Watkinsville, Oconee County, Georgia

Newspaper advertising benefits everyone

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Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 6:00 pm

America is blessed with a free and independent press. But while journalism is free from censorship and independent of government oversight, the production of a newspaper is far from cheap and very much dependent on support from consumers. 

This newspaper, like any other, derives revenue from two main sources: readership and advertising. The journalists here provide an essential service by informing citizens about issues that directly affect them. Advertising reps play an equally vital part in the health and vitality of this community by giving local businesses, organizations and political candidates a platform to educate the public and grow their following. 

According to a 2016 study by American Opinion Research, two-thirds of Georgia adult consumers use a newspaper product during an average week. 

When asked to identify a local advertising source one relies on most to find out what’s for sale, printed newspapers and newspaper websites got the highest response with 41 percent. The second highest was the Internet at 19 percent, followed by shoppers at 8 percent, local television at 6 percent and social media at 5 percent. The remaining portions of the pie chart included national television, word-of-mouth, radio and other. 

Another reason to advertise in a local newspaper is to support local journalism. Indeed, there is a separation of editorial content and advertising, but both areas contribute to the larger purpose of a newspaper: being the heartbeat of a community. 

We want The Oconee Enterprise to be a place where one goes for local news and local deals. It’s here that one will find restaurant scores and restaurant promotions, in-depth reporting on zoning procedures and 

ground breakings or ribbon cuttings. A newspaper is one of the few platforms in which a critical analysis of a candidate can coexist with a political ad. 

A story about the county fighting a lawsuit shares space with crime reports, gardening advice, a crossword puzzle, land sales, letters to the editor, obituaries, sports coverage and, of course, advertising. 

Advertising covers everything from store specials to church chicken mulls, and unlike the glut of noise on Facebook, newspaper advertising sticks out and sticks around. Weekly newspapers have a wide reach and long shelf life, which makes them more attractive to advertisers, according to the analysis by American Opinion Research. Half of adults polled made a purchase during an average 30-day period because of something they saw or read in a printed newspaper or newspaper website. 

There are valid advantages to advertising on Facebook, but given its track record for dishonesty and propagating misinformation, advertising dollars are better served supporting community journalism rather than a corporate behemoth. 

Internet advertising contributed, in part, to the layoffs of about 2,100 people in the media business last month, including crucial positions at weekly and daily newspapers run by McClatchy and Gannett. 

Newspapers will always be competing for ad dollars with radio, television, billboards and even coupon books. But none of those platforms are a real threat to the future of journalism. 

It’s been a tradition among some politicians to run “thank you” ads in The Enterprise the week after an election. It costs them money despite no perk in gaining votes. 

But these ads do something special. By advertising after a defeat or victory, these politicians earn the respect of readers for going out of their way to express gratitude and for supporting a local business: The Enterprise. 


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