E marketer released finding today that state newspaper advertising revenues declined 16.4% in 2008 “The current economic situation is making things tough across all media, but newspaper revenues are falling more than in any other major medium,” says Carol Krol, eMarketer senior analyst.
The “State of the News Media” is a compendium of 2008 studies looking at every aspect of news media, including advertising. The reports identify several trouble areas for newspaper, the major issue being that people (especially young people) read their news online these days.
Craig’s List is hurting newspapers by eating into their classified advertising revenues, and online websites are replacing display advertising.
The troubled auto industry was once a significant source of advertising revenue for newspapers, as well. And in 2007, Macy’s decreased its newspaper advertising by nearly 25%.
Two notable businesses that increased their advertising are Sprint and Verizon.
What does this mean for small businesses and people interested in public relations? First of all, slowing revenues means editorial staff cuts at newspapers. Newspapers are turning to wire sources and freelance writers for content. So pitching a story is more challenging now than ever. It also means that newspapers are hiring younger staffers, with less knowledge about the community and their subject. Reporters cover may cover several beats, instead of just one. And most journalists report being under tremendous pressure to produce many stories for both online and print purposes. The end result is that readers may read less in-depth coverage of stories, and more mistakes. And, more than ever, reporters may rely on publicists to fact-check and provide background information for content.
It also means, while newspaper advertising is still quite expensive, that it advertisers are in a better position to negotiate deals and placement for display ads.