I am not a big fan of newspaper advertising. Many daily papers are read on line and readers don’t see the display ads. They can be expensive. In low turnout, off year elections, the cost of an impression is a lot more expensive than targeted mail or internet ads.

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So when I use newspaper ads as an advertising medium, there are usually some very good reasons. And sometimes there are.

Using Newspaper Ads in a Political Campaign:

In small communities, sometimes they are useful in drawing attention to an important issue, highlighting a conflict, or serving as what we call conversation starters.

In suburban areas, I often look for weekly newspapers that serve the small towns and communities. Large suburban newspapers don’t have the space to cover the local football team, local community events or local news. The weekly community newspapers do. Thus the weeklies tend to be better read than the daily papers.

Some newspapers cater to very specialized audiences and they can be an excellent way to narrowly cast a message or an appeal. For example, in New York City one of the best read newspapers is the World Journal. Who reads it? Affluent Chinese living in New York City, an increasingly important slice of the electorate.

What makes a good newspaper ad?

  1. White Space. Don’t clutter your ad with a lot of convoluted copy. People won’t read it if you do.
  2. Use it to make one point that the reader can easily grasp in three seconds. If your point isn’t obvious, readers won’t spend time trying to figure it out.
  3. Use a picture, graphic or symbol that makes your point and draws attention to your words.
  4. Make it look different than other political ads that are in the newspaper. Your ad is competing for attention with every other advertiser. If you want to be noticed, be different.

To illustrate the points I just made, I am providing examples of newspaper ads I designed that won national awards.

Example 1:

DuBois ad Pollie

Example 2:

prop one yard sign

Ultimately, the decision to use newspaper ads is a judgment call. How many in your Election Day coalition will the ad reach? Is it less expensive than some other means of reaching your voters? If so, use them.

Have questions? You can reach me at 845-458-1210. Or email me at [email protected]

Last Week’s Video: Running for Office? Using Telephones to Spread Your Message

Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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