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By Marissa DeCuir
eHow Contributing Writer
The ever-changing newspaper industry provides publishers with many challenges. But the changes also give them the opportunity to be creative with how they market their newspapers. The goal is to stay in front of your readers and never let them forget you’re around. Want to be their sole source of information? Try these marketing ideas.
Establish Social Networks
As technology expands, so should your newspaper’s web interface. Create a Facebook fan page, YouTube profile and Twitter account to attract more readers. Allow online story commenting, and develop discussion boards.
You’ll reach out to the younger generation newspapers strive to target every day.
Text as News Happens
Breaking news shouldn’t wait until tomorrow’s print edition. Send readers to your newspaper’s Web site by texting or e-mailing story updates. Provide your online readers with RSS feeds for your paper.
Attack from every source and you’ll be ingrained in readers’ minds.
Let readers in your community put themselves in the newspaper. A chance to express their opinions through letters to the editor was a noble start. Take it a step further by allowing readers to become the reporter.
Offer them a chance to submit their own photos and news stories, giving them incentive to purchase a handful of copies and tell others about your paper.
Get in the Classroom
Set up a Newspapers In Education program at your local elementary, middle and high schools. Lesson plans involving your newspaper will reach the entire student body, their parents and the school’s faculty and staff.
You will instill the importance and necessity of newspapers at an early age in children.
Give Your Paper Away
Handing out free copies isn’t enough. Host a competition where the winner gets a free subscription for one year. Invent a game and publish directions only in your print edition so participants have to purchase a copy.
You offer space for businesses to attract customers. Run in-house advertisements enticing your readers to come back for more news. Forecast Tuesday’s news in Monday’s paper. Or tell readers to take a break from the fast-paced tech world and relax with a cup of coffee and a copy of your print edition.
Encourage sources to hang pieces you have written about them at their offices. Each customer they serve could become a customer of yours.
Catch your target audience at your local grocery store. Set up a kiosk at the front entrance and encourage shoppers to purchase discounted subscriptions.
Making it easy for them could make it hard to say no.