Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Innovative Media Tactics Help Grow 2017 Circulation

Circulation pros and media owners looking for new strategies to acquire subscribers, boost event attendance and up revenues will find some great lessons in Editor & Publisher's annual feature "10 Newspapers That Do It Right."  It spotlights ideas for 2017 circulation, revenue and engagement growth with applications beyond the newspaper world. For example, the Albany Times Union is growing its print subscription base by offering more frequency flexibility with a Thursday through Sunday and/or Sunday-only print delivery as primary options. "As consumers continue to downsize their subscriptions to fit into a busier and more digital audience, this change in tactics presented the consumer with flexibility," Brad Hunt, circulation sales and marketing manager, explained to E&P. At the same time, the paper reduced subscription churn by using data analysis of starts and stops to develop more efficient retention and engagement touch points, increasing starts by 7% and cutting stops by 18%. In another example, San Antonio's Express-News woos subscribers and boosts ad revenue via multimedia publication of unique local content. For example, in October 2015, the paper launched a 48-page, all-color tabloid magazine, Spurs Nation, about its local NBA team, the Spurs. Full of original and exclusive reporting on the team (80,000 subscribers currently), the tabloid is inserted in the Sunday paper and sold on newsstands. Four months after the magazine launched, a half-hour "Spurs Nation" television show debuted on the local NBC affiliate. Plus, on game days, the paper began publishing a double-truck with a scouting report and feature story. Content was accessible on the paper’s premium subscriber website and on a niche site. So, in a single buy, advertisers can get magazine, newspaper, TV show and website ads! Plus, the paper added book publishing this past holiday season, with a book about major moments in San Antonio basketball. Finally, publishers hoping to woo millennials to their print, digital and mobile platforms may want to study Singapore's Straits Times decision to create Singapore’s first coffee festival. "We wanted to target a millennial crowd in particular, and much of the publicity was specifically created for maximum impact on social media," Managing Editor Fiona Chan told Editor & Publisher. Since the goal was to get millennials engaged with the publication, the paper’s designated Reading Room at the festival gave guests the chance to interact with reporters, columnists and editors through a series of hour-long Q&A sessions. "Readers are increasingly looking for more than just commoditized news that they can get for free anywhere. What they want is to engage with journalists and newsmakers, to ask specific questions about the issues that interest them and to obtain detailed answers," Chan advised. For more detail, go to