The credit crunch has got many local businesses thinking about value for money and cost savings especially when it comes to advertising.
Mr Monkey has been carrying out some research in to how effective newspaper advertising really is. There’s a theory that the more local a newspaper the less effective the advertising because local people already know about businesses in their area and in most cases readers simply skip over the ad pages without paying any attention to them – in effect they ignore what they already know.
The advent of the internet has enabled thousands of businesses to market themselves to a worldwide audience at very little cost. In today’s digital world businesses can establish an on-line presence for just a few pounds and can potentially reach an audience of billions. Unlike newspapers where you have to pay for an advert everytme it appears, a web presence, once established is as permanent as you want it to be – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and everyday of the year – now that’s got to be value for money.
With this type of competition to content with it’s no wonder newspapers are struggling to keep both their readers and advertisers. Virtually every newspaper is rapidly losing it’s readership, circulation figures are plummeting and advertising revenues are falling.
A closer examination of the circulation figures reveals a very different picture to the one newspaper advertising staff try to portray. Potential advertisers are told how successful newspaper advertising is and how many people an ad will reach but as with most things, especially at the Gazette everything is not what it seems.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations provides circulation, distribution and attendance data for ABC certified newspapers including the Gazette, the Sunderland Echo, the Chronicle and the Journal. This information is available on-line free of charge at http://www.abc.org.uk/cgi-bin/gen5?runprog=nav/abc&noc=y and makes interesting reading.
The figures reveal that all the region’s publications are losing readers but it also shows that the Shields Gazette is very much the poor relation when it comes to sales.
The latest daily sales figures available are for the period December 2007 to June 2008 and are:
- The Chronicle – 71, 878
- The Sunderland Echo – 41,153
- The Journal – 34,370
- The Shields Gazette – 18,152
Based on these industry approved figures it seems advertising in the Shields Gazette is a waste of money so the next time you get a telephone call from their sweet talking sales staff think long and hard before you part with your money.
Industry predictions are that newspaper sales will continue to fall and it’s widely expected that the Gazette will reveal that it’s readership has fallen to around 15,000 the next time their figures are published.
At this rate of decline, Papa John Szymanski will go down in history as the last editor of the country’s oldest provincial newspaper and the man who was responsible for the death of the Gazette.
Still Papa John could always return to his roots by joining some worthless magazine and Mr Monkey reckons he knows exactly which one – South Tyneside council’s ON VIEW – because anyone stupid enough to buy the Gazette will recognise the similarities.