A brand is what a customer perceives of a publication. In its most simplistic form, branding is “emotional connections between a newspaper and the market it serves.” Let’s examine 5 ways to promote your publication brand in the marketplace:
- Service clubs
Join a Kiwanis, Rotary, Optimist, or Lions Club. The relationships you can build in these organizations is very important. This exposure is a true top of mind awareness experience and can be invaluable to you and your publication. Also go speak to service clubs about your publication. They are looking for speakers and you can’t ask for a better captive audience of business people.
- United Way and other charity organizations
Your publication needs to be perceived as a helpful publication that is willing to run United Way articles and ads at no charge. Charity connections are important and even participating in public TV auctions and fundraising is a high profile activity in your marketplace.
- Open House Event
A weekly newspaper decided to have an open house event for their inactives, regulars, and prospects. They decided on a provocative theme “Once a week does it.” Plastic buttons with the theme copy were made and worn by all members of the publication weeks before the open house. The open house happening had the following arrangements:
All personnel wore their button—the setting was a popular hotel with a pool, where the festivities took place—there was live music by a popular trio, champagne punch fountain, hot hors d’oeuvres, and a wine bar.
Invitations went to 200 people and 125 attended. The paper had a colorful display booth and their key personnel were present to give information and answer questions. Most of the expense was traded off. It was wildly successful.
- Promotional pointers
A progressive newspaper needs a memorable memory hook, a slogan that stirs the imagination and can be put on all mastheads, sales materials, sides of delivery trucks, etc. Advertising specialties are great reminders and the greatest items are ones that can be used in the kitchen of your customer’s homes. They include yardsticks, jar openers, sponges, and magnetic signs that go on refrigerators. Your logo should be on refrigerators in your market area.
- Internet marketing
The big issue is promoting your publication website. You must be patient with expectations. The flow of communication goes from making a prospect a friend, then a customer, and finally a loyal customer who will come back again and again to your website. This process is enhanced by a system of indoctrination, teaching the viewer about your publication, in effect telling the story of your publication.
Final Thought. Create an integrated promotion plan that ties together all the various strategies, marketing vehicles, and objectives into a long range program. Branding pre-sells the product and as such, is a more efficient way to sell things. And finally, remember that branding can mean emotional connections to the marketplace.