Press Advertising: Still a relevant form of advertising

Press advertising is one of the most effective advertising methods available, and is a long established advertising medium. It allows for highly effective targeted campaigns by choosing publications of interest to the target demographic, and has a wide range of options for the size of readership, from specialist publications with only a few hundred readers to national publications available in newsagents.

The key to a good press advertising campaign is understanding both the demographic of your customers and of the publications readership. A national mum and baby magazine may have a very large readership, but is unlikely to show a good return on investment for performance sports car manufactures, while a smaller distribution specialised autoclub magazine for Porsche owners would be a much better match for their demographic and cheaper to boot.

Local newspaper advertising has the demographic of the area of the distribution, and while there may be broad trends within areas as to the affluence and tastes of the demographic, there are rarely strong enough trends to make these interesting to national level specialised manufacturers, for whom campaigns in national newspapers will be more effective in terms of spend per individual reached. Local newspaper advertising does allow geographically targeted campaigns, of particular interest to smaller businesses where their customers are almost entirely drawn from the distribution area, but also larger retail businesses who have stores within the distribution area but not nationally in enough areas to use a national publication.

Press advertising tends to include two types of advert, in line adverts within the main content, which may be an entire page or a portion of a page, and classified adverts grouped together, usually towards the back of the publication. Classified adverts are usually significantly cheaper than in line adverts and are more frequently found in local newspaper advertising and specialised publications. These adverts usually have limited colour and graphics options available, but are easily searched by consumers seeking a product or service. In line adverts are usually sold by the total space, and within that space anything that is possible in the rest of the publication can be used – if the publication is full colour then full colour advertising, and any graphics or logos desired can be used. While more of the readership will view an in line advert, they can be less use friendly if the consumer is seeking a specific product or service as there is no single area to search for them in.

If you seek to raise brand awareness or promote a specific event within the demographic of the publication, then an in line advert is the clear choice. However if you seek to promote a service or business in the local area which consumers would search in your publication for, then including a classified entry, perhaps in addition to the in line advert, allows for a consumer seeking your service or product to more easily identify you as a supplier of interest.