Value of Newspapers promotional ads available to HSPA member publications


Indiana newspapers focus on telling the stories of people across the state — but they don’t usually tell their own story.

An advertising campaign sponsored by the HSPA Foundation gives member newspapers some tools to communicate to readers who they are, what they do in the community and why they’re important. The Value of Newspapers ad campaign includes a series of customizable print and web ads including audio/radio and video spots that can be used on a paper’s web page and on social media.

“We’ve got to get our truth out there.”

Pete Van Baalen, general manager Fort Wayne Newspapers

The campaign was launched and sent out to member newspapers on Oct. 4.

“Over the past several months, a small team of Hoosier State Press Association members and staff have been working to create a new marketing campaign to help better tell our stories,” said Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel.

The campaign was designed by Indianapolis ad agency Well Done Marketing. The agency interviewed representatives from newspapers large and small across the state to help craft material that can be used in a variety of markets and adapted to social media, direct mailings billboards and more.

The materials illustrate how newspapers are woven into the fabric of their communities, Key said.

Well Done provided a fresh perspective and high quality, timeless content, said Pete Van Baalen, general manager of Fort Wayne Newspapers. “It helped us build a better campaign.”

The campaign was funded by the Foundation for HSPA member publications.

“For all newspapers, but particularly smaller ones like I am working with, this benefit further justifies our membership and participation in HSPA,” said Foundation Board President B.J. Riley who serves as publisher for the Decatur Daily Democrat and the Post and Mail in Columbia City.

In Fort Wayne, they’re using the radio spots in partnership with a local university said Van Baalen who noted the importance of reaching out beyond current readers.

“We’ve got to talk to non-sub-scribers, the next generation, and get them to realize that what’s happening tonight at the city council has an impact on you,” Van Baalen said.

In challenging times for news media, the campaign aims to define the important role newspapers play in every community. “This proactive approach will be beneficial to the newspapers and readers in Indiana with a cohesive message,” Riley said.

Newspapers have a great story to tell, Van Baalen said. “We’ve got to get our truth out there.”