“Getting People to Pick Up Your Paper” with Kevin Slimp – Webinar Recap

“Getting People to Pick Up Your Paper” with Kevin Slimp – Webinar Recap
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Last Thursday I had a great time talking with Kevin Slimp, the New Guru, about strategies for increasing print circulation (see the full recording here).

Overall, Kevin focused on the importance of getting to know your readers.  The “Big Idea” of the session was his recommendation that newspapers hold annual focus groups with the public to ask questions about the paper.

Page by page, column by column, these focus group survey’s need to get into the details on every aspect of your paper from content to design.

Your readers will tell you what they like and don’t like, then you need to take action on the survey results.

Focus Group Results

One section of Kevin’s presentation brought up some interesting trends among Millennials and Older Readers.

Focus groups with older readers indicate that they want more:

  1. Local News
  2. Gardening Columns (better if it is a local person)
  3. Calendar of events on front page
  4. Recipes
  5. Crossword Puzzle
  6. Easy to Read, Fonts that are clean
  7. Health issues covered well
  8. Travel stories

Focus groups with older readers indicate that they want more:

  1. Local News
  2. Features about local people
  3. Local entertainment and music
  4. Hard hitting loal news
  5. Self help/self improvement
  6. Local Sports
  7. Good design, clean and easy to read
  8. DIY articles
  9. Local Opinion Columns (they DO NOT want non-local opinion columns)

As mentioned earlier, Kevin’s “Big Idea’, the one thing that you should take away from the session, is that publishers should be creating focus groups once per year to get feedback on their print edition.

Get 10-24 people total, divide into two or more groups of 3-4 members each.  The whole process should take a few hours so you’ll want to provide a meal (host it at a local restaurant).

Most important of all, is that you apply changes to your print product based on the feedback received!

We are working on ways to apply the same process to improving the digital edition, stay tuned for more info on that in the new year.

Design Trends

Kevin also went through some of the trends in modern print design.

Based on research from nation-wide focus groups, in 2020, “Geometric Fonts” are IN; Kevin recommends Acumin, Aktiv.

He also had a slide on “Outdated Typefaces – Fonts to AVOID”

Color Trends

The colors that are the most popular in 2020 are “Classic Blue” and “Living Coral”(#FE6456).

See below for an image of “Color Trends” from Summer/Fall of 2020

Successful ideas that are working right now

  • Historical stories related to local history, stories continue between editions
  • “Faces of [Your Town]” series, profiling members of the community
  • “Made in [Your Town]” series, highlighting businesses in the community
  • Birthday News
  • Monthly free Senior stand alone publication, used to promote subscription to the weekly newspaper.

Many thanks to Kevin Slimp for joining us for the conference, we look forward to scheduling another session with him in the future, exclusively available to Our Hometown customers.



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