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I am sure I’m not the only one that
scratches her head when it comes to
the negative publicity surrounding our
Sure, we’ve had our share of head-
aches, but so have many other com-
When I was conducting sales training
for newspapers about a year or so ago, I
always started my session on how things
have changed – for everyone – including
television and radio. We still reach a tre-
mendous number of households every
day, but all we care to tell people is that
we don’t reach as many households via
a circulated copy as we used to.
At least that’s what Larry Maynard
was saying when he enlightened nearly
100 SNA attendees on a recent Retail
Webinar about the positive story in
newspapers today (you can find the
entire presentation archived on our web
site under “webinars”). Interestingly
enough, it’s probably one of the highest
attended webinars we’ve conducted –
maybe because we rarely see “positive”
and “newspapers” in the same sentence
when it comes to press coverage.
Maynard, who works with The Small
Newspaper Group, reminds us that we
have the strongest brand equity, the
longest and strongest relationships, the
most regional and national advertising
of anyone, the longest and strongest
track record, the most local and regional
news and audited or verified circulation/
Maynard says problem number one
is the perception of our demise. He lays
out in his presentation why this isn’t
true. Perhaps the Mark Twain quote
is appropriate here: “the reports of my
death are greatly exaggerated.”
As a matter of fact, so exaggerated that
if you look at the media coverage about
newspaper closings in 2009 you may
think the number was in was in the teens
or twenties, maybe even thirties.
The actual number of newspaper
closings? Six, according to Maynard. Six
is by no means good, but it’s a long way
from the demise of an industry.
And Maynard made a point to men-
tion that larger newspapers who had
problems, for the most part, had taken
on a tremendous amount of debt and
had poor financials. Their closings
were not about the effectiveness of their
product or their “wantedness” in the
communities they served. To me, that’s
a huge distinction.
Our biggest problem may be our own
views of our industry. We don’t remind
readers everyday of what we do and how
we are growing in new ways.
An idea Maynard mentioned is worth
consideration, and in my opinion, action:
Put the actual number of stories that are
in that day’s paper (local vs national) on
the front page. How do people know
the magnitude of what we produce if
we don’t tell them about it? No one else
is going to give us credit.
What about promoting our aggregate
audience with online? It’s going to show
a bigger and younger audience when
you promote this to advertisers.
Again Maynard suggests putting the
number of ads on page one (recruit-
ment, real estate, auto, local, etc). Sure,
they may have decreased, but so what?
There are still a great quantity of them.
Many papers do this with the amount of
value or coupons you’ll find in the paper;
but maybe the value isn’t all monetary
maybe the value is just pointing out
the breadth of information that they
have at their fingertips.
At least Maynard is still bullish on
newspapers, how about you?
Tanya Henderson is the Advertising &
Membership Relations Director with SNA.
You can contact her at 804.262.3341 or by
email at Tanya.henderson@suburban-
SNA Member News
Say hello to SNA’s newest members!
Connect with them and other members via
the fully searchable member database on SNA’s
website. Find it at www.suburban-news.org. Check
your listing periodically and send updates to sna@
n North Country This Week, Potsdam, NY
n Salmon Press, Meredith NH
n The Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, NM
n Stonebridge Press, Southbridge, MA
n Mike Murray, Pottstown, PA
n AdPay, Inc., Englewood, CO
n Advanced Publishing Systems Pty Ltd,
Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
n Bluefin Technology Partners, LLC Andover MA
n E-Edition Promotions, LLC, Pikesville, MD
n GoCreate, Santa Rosa, CA
n Mobile Promotions Network, LLC, dba Shooger,
Coral Gables, FL
n RouteSmart Technologies, Inc., Columbia, MD
n Seeing Interactive, Inc, College Station, TX
The Antelope Valley Press, an award-winning
daily newspaper in the high desert of Los Angeles
County, is looking for a versatile generalist with
1-3 years experience to assist our Showcase
Editor in turning out comprehensive daily
and weekly news reports about all aspects of
entertainment and the arts as they relate to
the coverage area of the Antelope Valley Press.
Degree in journalism or related field with daily
experience preferred. Will consider talent from
excellent weeklies and/or exceptional recent
Full time; some night and weekend work.
Compensation negotiable; excellent benefits.
Our Community has the most affordable housing
in the Los Angeles County market.
Send resume with clips and references to:
Antelope Valley Press,
P.O. Box 4050,
fax to (661) 267-4284,
or e-mail to email@example.com.
Communicate the truth about newspapers,
not the perception, to readers and advertisers
Advertising & Membership
A Reality Check
“Put the actual number of
stories that are in that day’s
paper (local vs national) on
the front page. How do
people know the magni-
tude of what we produce
if we don’t tell them about
it? No one else is going to
give us credit.”
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