Archive for September, 2011

Week of the Newspapers!

Oct. 2-8, 2011 is National Newspaper Week and it is a time to celebrate the role of community newspapers. Community newspapers will be in the spotlight so don’t hesitate and get your message delivered to the communities by placing an ad. Click here to find more information and to generate your quote.

Readership of Canadian Daily Newspapers Remains Strong

NADbank (Newspaper Audience Databank) released the 2010/11 NADbank Fall Readership Study and the study shows that newspapers continue to be a vital source of news, information and entertainment for consumers in seven of Canada’s largest and most competitive markets. The data is consistent with ComBase information on community newspaper readership; newspapers and their online versions are stable if not growing in readership.

The latest numbers from NADbank show that in Toronto 75% of adults 18+ read either a printed or online edition of a daily newspaper each week. Readership results for other markets are 77% in Montréal, 81% in Vancouver, 79% in Ottawa-Gatineau, 77% in Calgary, and 76% in Edmonton. Online readership is highest in Ottawa-Gatineau (27%) followed by Toronto (26%) and Calgary (25%).

Click here to read the full press release.

New Green Way for Newspaper Recycling

We like to make sure we work as environmentally friendly and aware as possible and therefore we always enjoy reading about new newspaper recycling techniques. Last week we came across two online articles about new findings for newspaper recycling and needed to share this.

Waste paper might someday become a rich source of fuel as researchers at the Tulane University in New Orleans have identified a bacterial strain that could convert old newspapers into biofuel. Like ethanol, butanol can be used as a substitute for gasoline to power cars and other motorized vehicles. Click here to read more.

Another green way to get rid of old newspapers is to use it as insulation. YNN reported: “It’s ground up newspaper and treated with boric acid so it won’t burn, it’s fire retardant. It’s also good because vermin don’t like it and it works very well. Normally it’s a very green product that you would be throwing out but now we’re recycling and using it as insulation”. Click here for the full article.

A Good Problem Can Be An Advertiser’s Best Friend

By John Foust
Raleigh, NC

Not long ago, I heard someone say that aspirin sales probably outrank vitamin sales. Why? Because aspirin solves immediate problems, while vitamins do not.

In my Good Ads file, there is a trade publication ad with a great headline: “Electric nutrunner system overcomes 11 critical assembly problems.” I know what you’re thinking, because I thought the same thing. No, a nutrunner is not some kind of food delivery system for squirrels. It’s a manufacturing device that tightens threaded fasteners. If you and I operated a manufacturing company, nutrunners could be a big concern – especially if our current system had some shortcomings.

Problems motivate people to find solutions. That’s why a good problem can be an advertiser’s best friend. If you want to use this tactic, here are a few points to keep in mind:

1. Be relevant. Any product or service can solve dozens – perhaps hundreds – of potential problems. The key is to learn which ones are most meaningful to your target audience – and build the ad around those. Some ads will feature one problem, some a few, and others as many as the nutrunner ad.

This ad’s 11 assembly problems – along with the accompanying solutions – include, “Two  percent torque control,” “Consistent feed and start” and “No split responsibility.” If we needed better torque control, if we had inconsistent feeding and starting, or if our current system had split responsibilities, we would be keenly interested in this ad’s message.

To discover relevance, it is important to know your advertiser’s customer. To become an advertising superstar, you will have to develop ads for products which you wouldn’t buy yourself. You see, advertising is a unique profession that requires you to learn about a variety of businesses and audience segments.

“Find the pain to make the sale,” is an old saying with a lot of truth. The challenge is to find the right pain. If the reader doesn’t care about a particular problem, then you’re wasting your time trying to convince him or her to find a solution.

The right problem is a huge priority for target consumers.

2. Be specific. This ad doesn’t dwell on foggy generalities. It focuses on specifics. The electric nutrunner doesn’t solve “a lot of problems;” it overcomes a finite number of “critical assembly problems.”  Instead of vaguely claiming “better torque control;” it specifies “two percent torque control.”

Advertising giant Claude Hopkins wrote, “One statement may take as much room as another, yet a definite statement be many times as effective. The difference is vast. If a claim is worth making, make it in the most impressive way.”

Specifics sell. You don’t take an aspirin because you have a general problem. You take it to deal with a specific problem.

3. Propose easy solutions. Tell readers “how,” in addition to “what.” In other words, once you highlight what specific problem the product or service will solve, provide readers with details on how – and how easily – that can be accomplished.

Look for ways to make readers say, “Wow, I’m glad I found this.”

(c) Copyright 2011 by John Foust. All rights reserved.

John Foust has trained thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information:

How Community Newspapers Get From the Newsroom to Your News Box

Last Wednesday, the Sooke News Mirror published an interesting article that we enjoyed reading. The article describes the history and the production process of some local BC community newspapers. People read their community newspaper every week or even every day but how do the newspapers actually get from the newsroom to your news box?

The story goes back to 1976 when Verne Percival and associates started the Goldstream Gazette. At the time all the printing was contracted out up island so in 1981 they decided to start a press in Sooke to print their own newspapers: The Goldstream Press was born. Besides producing the Gazette it also took on printing jobs for the Mirror and several other south Island papers.

The Goldstream Press stayed in Sooke for five years, as this was the minimum stipulated time for a new business receiving a federal grant. It then decided to relocate to Victoria because most of their print was in Victoria and surrounding areas. These days, The Goldstream Press can be found in Saanich where it continues to print the Goldstream Gazette, the Sooke News Mirror, and all the weekly and bi-weekly Black Press publications south of Duncan.

Now what goes on actually inside of this massive building where the local newspapers get printed? A staff of about 70 people takes on different shifts (day and night) and they look after running the printing machines, inserting fliers, packaging up bundles, looking after deliveries and a myriad of other duties.

Heavy machines, giant cylinders, lots of paper and ink, hot plates of 250 degrees and “flyboys” make it happen that the community can read their local newspaper.

On the flip side, we shouldn’t forget the newspaper carriers who deliver the newspapers to the mailboxes. International Newspaper Carrier Day is coming up soon on October 8, 2011!

Click here to read the full article in the Sooke News Mirror and click here to learn more about International Newspaper Carrier Day.