Newspapers offer advertising efficiency


By Steve Key
Hoosier State Press Association

Thank you, Newspaper Association of America, for more information to refute the doomsayers who keep trying to bury newspapers.

The NAA funded a Nielsen study comparing the ability of major media, including television, radio and social media, to impact audiences. It was released during NAA’s recent annual conference.

The good news – we’re No. 1.

Newspaper media – print and online – scored the highest on overall audience engagement, particularly in the “efficacy of advertising.”


I had to double-check the dictionary for that one.

It means “the power to produce an effect,” according to my Webster’s dictionary.

Sounds like just what advertisers spend their dollars to do.

According to Nielsen, aggregate advertising scores showed newspapers and their websites delivering a 12 percent larger advertising-engaged audience than the overall average for all media, and 16 percent larger than social media.

The survey of 5,000 adults used 11 metrics for engagement (examples: trust, ethics, how connected the media makes people feel, the value or inspiration they add to life, and effectiveness of advertising).

Under advertising effectiveness, examining whether adults “usually notice ads” or are “likely to purchase” and “best place for Black Friday shopping,” newspaper media scored consistently better than all other media.

The NAA reported that the study also examined consumer engagement with content produced by different media.

Newspaper media wasn’t accessed as often as the competition but scored higher on most of the metrics for engagement, including trust, public service, and four measures of advertising efficacy.

NAA hopes marketing planners will use the results to compare media effectiveness in connecting with consumers and how well they respond to advertising.

If the Nielsen report weren’t good enough news, everyone should take note that billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch are considering making a bid to buy Tribune Co.’s eight newspapers through their Koch Industries company, according to the New York Times.

The Tribune nameplates include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford (Conn.) Courant.

First Warren Buffett, now the Koch brothers!

Apparently newspapers still have a big value; otherwise that trio would never consider becoming publishers.

It must be that efficacy.

Steve Key is executive director and general counsel for HSPA.