Creating a new brand for young people

Creating a new brand for young people
As we’ve reported previously, the newspaper industry seems far ahead of local television in strategies to woo young people. The best so far is the creation of separate papers — and in some cases Websites — the target young people. They’re looking for revenue, of course, but the primary reason for the free daily tabloids launched by Gannett and Tribune is an attempt to bring the concept of newspapers to young readers. A Dow Jones Business News story on the subject yesterday contains a couple of compelling quotes by Fred Searby, who follows the newspaper industry for J.P. Morgan. As you read these quotes, think of the local television industry.

“The Achilles heel for the newspaper industry is that young people aren’t reading the newspaper. They get their (information) from somewhere else.”
Their small circulations mean the papers probably won’t add much to publishers’ earnings, but Searby says, “The upside is if they can get young people back to reading the paper. That’s the ultimate question mark for this business.”

A question I often hear from broadcasters is, “How do we reach out to these young people without alienating our core audience?” The answer is to diversify and compete with yourself. Newspapers have figured out that by competing with themselves, they’re not only able to help their market share, but they’re also planting the seeds for a newspaper-friendly future. We should be so smart.

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