1. Awesome post, as usual James. Having spent a good part of my career in the newspaper biz, I have some thoughts on the 2009 NADBank release.

    First, the day to day ‘sky is falling’ reporting that characterized the global economic situation was very good (and perpetuated by) the newspaper business. They are also aggregating online with print readership, which from and advertiser perspective is problematic. My hunch is that the small growth in readership was all online but they certainly won’t be telling that story since most of their $$$ come from traditional print ad dollars.

    What we also don’t see is the trending for those all important 18- 24 and 25-34 demo’s… had those numbers been up, they would have been tweeted ad nauseum and likely made the front page since that would be really BIG NEWS. What has always bugged me about the NADBank release (and having worked with the numbers from the ‘inside’) is it’s not transparent. It is really hard to get a true picture of what these numbers really mean.

    That being said, I am glad to see editorial teams have also finally embraced social media such as twitter and FB as a way to connect with their readership and strengthen reader relations on a more personal level. In big markets such as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto etc., readers will often follow a columnist, similar to the way we follow people online. I follow the Vancouver Sun on Twitter and recieve several tweets throughout the day on breaking news and story updates.

    But we are not in Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal. We are in Kelowna. Do we, a real estate company, buy newspaper as part of our media plan? Yes, but the messaging is targeted and whenever possible, we try to engage on a different level by submitting editorial features relevant to the industry and Kelowna.

    Keep up the great blogs!

    PS- Its funny that you mention the ‘Cheese’ book. When CanWest bought the metro dailies and the National Post from Holliger back in 2000- all of us that worked in the national office recieved a copy of said book. I still have it… I suspect Leonard recently reread it himself.

  2. Thanks for your comments Shauna. I wondered if anyone else would pick up NADbank’s grouping of print & digital readership stats together!

    It was interesting to hear your “insider” point of view too on transparency. It reminds me of the mental wrestling matches I’ve had over demographic information with local radio stations. It’s a tricky subject, but it may find it’s way into another blog post soon…

  3. I wonder how much those numbers are skewed. For example, I would almost never go out to buy myself a newspaper. When I used to work in an office I would read a newspaper almost everyday while I ate in the lunchroom.

    Did I read it because I prefer to read a newspaper? No, I read it outta sheer boredom while I was eating and the newspaper was already on the table.

    But, If I got asked, I would say that I read a paper newspaper every single day.

  4. As the Online Account Manager for Black Press, I have lot’s to say on this matter, but I’ll try and keep this short. I agree with much of what Shauna said, one of the big things the Internet has done is increase the importance of targeting. As a community newspaper company we are at the ground level for targeting, our content is written and printed in Kelowna and our advertisers are specifically interested in Kelowna. At the community level, we have not seen the same “sky is falling” effect. As Kelowna grows, so does our non-subscription based readership. Our readership both in print and online is increasing, from my experience at this point it’s been more online in rural areas and more in print in urban areas. I don’t expect anyone to put all their marketing budgets in newspapers, but we aren’t dead yet, there is a still significant value in our papers and web sites and there will be for a while to come. I can’t speak for NADbank, but I openly distribute Black Press’ online statistics in a chart sorted by print distribution so you can see which web site is more popular and I’d be happy to send it to any potential customers. :)

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