Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How Journalism needs to market itself

I went out and found a couple articles discussing what the journalism industry can do to better market itself to consumers.  Read the articles and check out my summary, let me know what you think!

     The article describes the importance of using social media and enabling user-created content for newspaper websites, and how doing so has proven to be a powerful market awareness tool.  One website, used as an example in the article, which has seen website traffic "rise 15 to 20 percent," an impressive statistic noting the current decline of newspaper profits.  When a newspaper receives more traffic, advertisers are more likely to place ads in the paper, thus adding incoming cash flows. 
     In class, we discussed the importance of market recognition and how, generally, more recognition is better.  Say, for instance, that The New York Times online implemented a social-media section, and the name was to grow in popularity among the "facebook users," the company would be more highly recognized and it is likely that newspaper sales could increase as an effect.

     The Internet if full of news websites.  So full, in fact, that creating a serious segment of penetration within the online news market is extremely difficult.  According to this article, however, it is easier for established newspapers to grab hold of online readers, and the increase in market penetration has helped awareness among readers.
     Market penetration, as discussed in marketing classes, is achieved primarily through more aggressive marketing mixes, which is what many newspapers are doing by changing the place distribution methods of their articles (moving online) as well as price decision changes (giving news away for free).

     This article states the main point that a newspapers target group “feels it simply can’t live without a newspaper.”  And this is true, but the definition of newspaper is changing.  A newspaper without an online source for video and audio doomed to fall behind the rapidly evolving industry. 
     To me, this represents a blend of market penetration as well as market development.  While the newspaper industry is looking to involve a more diverse, new market, they are trying to pay attention to the core consumers who drive the industry and incorporate them into a new marketing strategy.

     While newspapers are lacking in ad revenue, it is still important for companies advertising in these outlets to reach their consumers.  An ad for Chrysler ran in an Canadian newspaper promoting a discount for Chrysler employees, but the deal was actually available to any customer.  Many found this to be “convoluted” and misleading, which a company is never looking for.
     This is an example of the importance of defining marketing strategies for new promotions.  Why would a company advertise that a sale if available for a select few when it could be more successful advertising to the whole applicable consumer group?

     Advertorials have become a common occurrence in today’s magazine media.  Advertorials are ads that run almost incognito as an article written by authors of the publication.  These ads, however, are written by the company being advertised.  The ethical implications of such issues are obvious.  The article states, however, that these ads are less intrusive on the reader, and therefore positive for magazines.  For this reason, many companies are leaving the burden of the ad for the publication due to the intense need for ad revenue.
     In class we discussed the ethics of advertorials.  I agree with this article in that advertorials are a good way for a company to reach a target audience, but leaving the burden of advertising on publications raises serious journalistic ethics questions.  Should advertising and promotion be combined with truthfulness and honesty?  Many think it is an impossibility.

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