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Iowa newspapers are evolving and growing

56384428For the last five years or more, we've been hearing how the newspaper industry is dying.  And then, as proof, they give us examples of papers in Detroit or DC who are reducing the number of days they publish their paper.  Yes, some newspapers are making reductions but that doesn't mean it is happening here in Iowa.

It's sort of like all of the "the sky is falling" news we hear about the housing industry.  The examples are from Arizona or California and have very little bearing on the Iowa housing market -- which is holding its own. 

The truth is, Iowa newspapers are stronger than ever.  Here are some facts taken from recent research*

  • 84% of Iowans read their local newspaper every week
  • Almost 50% of Iowans utilize one of their newspaper's digital connections
  • More than 50% of Iowans buy based on newspaper ads

Today's newspapers (and not just the Iowa papers) have evolved with the times.  They're not a once a day/week one-way conversation.  They're offering us tools to connect and communicate with them 24/7.

I'm Facebook friends with Register and Business Record reporters (and follow their fan pages).  Between Facebook and Twitter -- I get breaking news, traffic reports, tips about what's happening around town and the latest business news. It's how I stay plugged into DSM all day long.

And in a state where we have 3 or 4 good sized cities and the rest of the population lives in small towns and rural communities -- it's noteworthy that small town papers are thriving, even during the recession.

Whether you're looking for a potential news source, a place to advertise or seek editorial coverage for your business -- don't let the national hype about newspapers blind you to the power of print.  (Even when it's not in print!)  At least not in Iowa.




* Newton Marketing & Research 2010

Disclosure:  As you might imagine, being a columnist in the DSM Business Record makes me pretty bullish on newspapers.  My agency, McLellan Marketing Group, also does work for the Iowa Newspaper Association.  That's where I first saw the research numbers I shared.  It's also why I didn't offer opinion in this piece…just the facts so you could form your own opinion.





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No, It's not great in some places and I hope that it's not doom and gloom, but it is good in others and I hope that it continues to stay that way.
For the places that aren't doing great. It will take time and careful planning to get to the point where it is good and things are better in all areas that have been affected.

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