Since we write law columns (see samples) and other articles for newspapers, lawyers sometimes ask: “Do people still read newspapers?” The next question is: “Should lawyers and law firms invest in sponsoring newspaper columns?”
Yes. Despite the explosion of the web and resulting hit on papers, people still love to sit down with a cup of coffee and the morning paper.
Sure, the under-35’s are migrating to online sites for their news fix. But nearly six out of 10 readers in Canada choose to read only print newspapers. People also spend more time when reading print compared to websites, which they usually skim.
Bottom line? Print is far from dead.
Retailers are even resurrecting their print catalogs, reflecting a trend of returning to print as a medium to market their products, according to Harvard Business Review. This year, J.C. Penney announced it will be putting out its catalog again, joining Ikea which just rolled out its 2015 catalog (it amusingly suggests that print is better technology than more high-tech devices).
Advantages of print newspaper marketing
Law firms can actually use the decline of print to their marketing advantage. “With more businesses relying solely on the Internet for their advertising needs,” there’s more room for your print “ad to shine” and prices may be cheaper for those ads, according to Forbes.
Consider too if your clients are mostly over 35.
People who grew up reading newspapers continue to read print newspapers.
If you’re a wills and estates lawyer, reaching out to mature or established readers in print makes a lot of sense. The same goes if you’re a business or real estate lawyer in an island community or the Okanagan, which appeals to people interested in recreational property.
Community newspapers thriving
Interestingly, community newspapers are faring better than city dailies. Canada has more than 1,000 community newspapers, 800 of which belong to the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA). And according to the CCNA, community newspapers are flourishing.
One reason is that they’re free and delivered to your doorstep or business.
Second, they cover local events and news in your immediate neighbourhood – there’s a strong connection to the community. People still like to see their beaming daughter in the paper with her spelling bee trophy, scan the local crime report (has your neighbour’s house been broken into?) or read about old Mr. Harris down the street in the obits.
Even if you think your LakeShore Link is a bit of a rag, for 25% of readers, the community paper is their go-to source of information – they only read the community paper.
So who are community newspaper readers?
Readers of community newspapers are actually some of the best people to target when it comes to legal marketing. Some 75% of university-educated people read a community paper, and most are fairly well off. Because community papers address local issues, the people who read them tend to have a strong interest in the community.
Don’t forget the ethnic papers
Ethnic papers are also thriving. New immigrants, in particular, often turn to ethnic media as a credible source of information, according to Quote EndQuote Cross Cultural Strategy, a Vancouver organization helping businesses connect with Canada’s Asian communities. Some 6.4 million Canadians rely on ethnic media.
In Greater Vancouver alone, ethnic English-language newspapers include The Voice, The Link, and the South Asian Post (for the Indo-Canadian community in Surrey) and the Asian Pacific Post (for the Chinese community in Vancouver).
There are huge opportunities to connect with readers in these and other ethnic papers.
This is all good news for law firms…
Advertising – or, more effective and unique, sponsoring free legal information on issues of interest, packaged with your firm’s ad – in local, community and ethnic newspapers can be an excellent way to show your support of your community.
So when allocating your marketing dollars, don’t overlook print opportunities.
These community and ethnic papers could very well be the unsung marketing workhorses that let people in your community know about your law firm – and bring in new clients for you.
See Innovative Legal Marketing for marketing your firm’s services in your local newspaper with “You and Law”®. Also see samples of how “You and the Law”® columns are published with law firm ads in newspapers across B.C. If interested in sponsoring “You and Law”®, please contact us.