Community news media outperforms every other channel when it comes to providing readers with information about their local communities, businesses and new products and services, a new report (i) into the sector has found.
Community newspapers and their websites attract more than 4.9 million readers (ii) each month and two in five residents in metropolitan areas read their community paper every week.
The ‘Think Local – Community News Media Report’ commissioned by The Newspaper Works and following its report into regional news media, found that readers ranked community news media as their #1 source of information on local businesses, their #1 source of information about new products and services and the most influential media for their shopping/buying decisions. The results do not represent non-readers.
More readers are introduced to new products and services by their community news brand than any other advertising platform, with 49 per cent of people turning to their local news brand first, ahead of television at 36 per cent and catalogues/flyers at 35 per cent.
The report found that community newspapers are 3.5 times more effective at informing readers about local businesses and services than catalogues, five times more effective than online search engines and 10 times more effective than social media.
The large amount of local content provides a rich source of information that other media cannot deliver. Community papers are the main source of local news for 54 per cent of respondents, compared with 17 per cent for television and six per cent for radio.
“Community news media is the most pervasive and comprehensive media for putting readers in touch with local affairs and businesses. They play a distinctive and important role in readers’ lives, as a trusted and influential source of information and also to help them make local shopping decisions,” The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands said.
“Our research found that readers rely heavily on community news brands – in print and digital – for information about their local area, and community news media plays a highly effective role for advertisers’ local area marketing.”
Ads in community news media also encourage people to make a purchase, with more than a third (36 per cent) saying that they influence their shopping/buying behaviour and 54 per cent saying that ads in local papers prompt them to look for more information online. In addition, readers are more than four times more likely to make a note of information in a community newspaper ad than they are from a TV or radio ad.
When used in combination with metropolitan news media advertising, there is a powerful effectiveness multiplier for large brands targeting local communities, with three in four readers supporting national businesses that are part of the local community.