Monday, July 21, 2008

The Future Is Here 

This is the future of the US newspaper. Smaller staffs, emphasis on local news coverage, less foreign and national news. There are positive and negatives to the "go-local approach." The positive is that newspapers will generate content that doesn't have competition. The negative is that newspapers are becoming isolated from larger news trends. Another negative is that newspapers are more reliant on wire services for news outside their market areas.

Even as newspapers go local, with smaller staffs they are not covering the news well in their markets. I have personal experience to confirm this. We have a client in a major metro -- a billion dollar company in annual revenues. We can't get the local newspaper to pay attention to it. The reporter on the county beat is too busy. The reporter on the industry beat only wants to cover larger companies. The business editor hasn't straightened out the complications. Meanwhile, the company, which is growing in a down market, is neglected. At the financial wire service level, the company is being covered as a small company, but at least it is noticed. This will get worse as newsrooms shrink.

A billion dollar company has substantial impact on a local economy but apparently not enough. What about smaller companies? What do they do to get their news out to a larger investor audience?

If you can't get the local horizontal pubs to pay attention, look to the vertical ones. The potential payoff in new business is far greater anyway.

Is there a business journal in the area that focuses on the local business community and/or trends and issues that impact the local business community?

What about trade and industry press that write about the company's industry or market space? These more vertical pubs will be read by potential customers, investors and partners and have a much more focused audience relevant to the company's biz dev objectives than horizontal general interest papers will.

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