NAA PR team promotes ads to newspapers

ARLINGTON, VA: The Newspaper Association of America's (NAA) in-house PR staff is in the midst of an outreach campaign to convince hundreds of papers across the country to unite for a massive marketing campaign designed to promote the value of the flagging newspaper industry.

ARLINGTON, VA: The Newspaper Association of America's (NAA) in-house PR staff is in the midst of an outreach campaign to convince hundreds of papers across the country to unite for a massive marketing campaign designed to promote the value of the flagging newspaper industry.

Last year, the NAA launched a $75 million national ad campaign touting newspapers as a valuable commodity for advertisers. This year the group is pursuing its second campaign, also focusing on convincing advertisers that newspapers are a wise investment for their marketing dollars.

The new campaign, set to launch on April 2, will emphasize the fact that newspapers reach customers through not only print, but also online channels. The first ad in the five-ad series uses the tagline "Newspaper. The Multi-Medium," and reminds advertisers that "America's newspapers are now delivering their product on websites, podcasts, and e-mails. And that's only the beginning."

Sheila Owens, NAA's VP of strategic communications, said that the Association is hoping that this year's campaign will exceed last year's tally of 800 papers running an ad on the same day. To do that, NAA communications staffers are targeting papers to donate free ad space in an act of industry-wide unity.

"The PR aspect is we're hoping that we engage as many newspapers to run the ad on what we call a roadblock, on the same day that it's launched," Owens said.

Last year, the NAA rolled out five ads simultaneously; this year, they will be introduced individually over time.

Last year's campaign also featured original research that produced data touting the benefits of papers, which was pushed out through the media to bolster the ad campaign.  That research was not replicated again for the 2007 effort, according to Owens.

The NAA is hoping its work will help reverse gloomy media coverage of the faltering newspaper industry.

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