Online media value, in-store customer outreach, more

Are online newspapers good outlets for my print campaign?

Online media
Are online newspapers good outlets for my print campaign?
By the end of 2007, the number of first-time visitors to newspaper Web sites climbed to 62.8 million, according to the Newspaper Association of America. With such numbers, ad revenues are growing and online newspaper editors will need more quality content to support a larger ad inventory.

"Sophisticated online newspapers contextually tie content with ads," says Brian Agnes, VP of sales and marketing for Family Features Editorial Syndicate.

This is a process of matching the theme of the content with the ad on the page. "A story on holiday desserts would be tied to a local grocery store ad," he explains. The result would be to provide relevant and targeted advertising to the reader. "If they don't offer food stories," Agnes continues, "they may not be able to sell advertising to the local grocery stores."

Campaigns that include well-crafted, subtly branded feature and release stories for print newspapers and their online counterparts will tap into a large and growing audience.

Customer outreach
What is a unique way to reach consumers when they are already out shopping?
A recent Aribitron retail media study showed that 70% of brand decisions are made in the store, while 69% of shoppers don't use a list. This reveals that shoppers don't always enter a store with their mind set on exactly what they'll buy.

"In-store audio announcements can reach your target audience at the perfect time - while they're captive and ready to buy," says Rise Birnbaum, CEO of Zcomm.

A radio news release or audio podcast can be repurposed for in-store audio and provide solutions to your most challenging brand objectives, she explains. You can reinforce an existing media campaign or steer consumers directly to the aisle where your product is located.

More than one-third of consumers surveyed have bought a different brand than intended after hearing a retail audio commercial or announcement, and product sales on average jump 17% in stores with in-store audio compared to stores without it, Birnbaum adds.

Media monitoring
I'm planning a campaign to promote a medical center that serves people in many states. Can I create a budget-conscious media-monitoring program that's equally targeted?
You shouldn't have a problem crafting a monitoring program that matches your specific needs, as long as you choose a monitoring service with appropriate capabilities, says Valerie Merahn Simon, SVP of sales at BurrellesLuce.

She suggests questioning prospective providers to determine whether they can perform key tasks, such as excluding irrelevant mentions, limiting media monitoring to the specific geographic regions you have designated, and monitoring coverage only for the time span you are interested in without requiring a long-term contract.

"You shouldn't pay to monitor more content, in more territory, or for more rows of the calendar than you need," Simon states. "Before embarking on the publicity campaign, make sure your monitoring service can provide the pinpoint information you need."

She adds that you should expect your vendor to deliver a monitoring service that is as focused as your campaign.

"You want to know about all the coverage that will make a difference for your organization," Simon emphasizes.

"Beyond that, you're wasting precious resources: your time and money."

Send your questions to: Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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