Increase Frequency and Loyalty of Customers

What can a newspaper bring you that the television, the radio, the Internet, cable TV, magazines, and more cannot? The people in marketing at the Portland Press Herald and at its Sunday counterpart the Maine Sunday Telegram faced a dilemma of shrinking numbers. Fewer people were buying the paper and it seemed that the problem grew worse with each passing month. This is a national phenomenon driven by the readerships' amount of free time to devote to reading the paper in addition to unprecedented pressure from television and cable news, talk radio, the Internet there are so many ways for consumers to stay current on world and national events, sports and weather, that newspapers are on the wane. The Portland papers asked Woodbury & Morse to develop a campaign that would not only boost the papers' image and buoy sales but also have a more lasting impact on circulation.

We wanted to connect our audience to a single core value for these papers. We knew we would need to remind them of what a terrific value the Press Herald and Sunday Telegram were. We knew we needed to pay tribute to the reader's good sense in choosing the in-depth and diverse coverage of news and topics that only newspapers can deliver.

But most important to the objective of stabilizing the existing readership and winning back lapsed readers, we needed to position the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram as the single, most capable instrument for keeping readers connected with their communities. Nobody does it better. Yes, world and national news was available in greater depth from such papers as the Boston Globe and New York Times. Yes, national sports and even local weather could be had equally as well from a number of different media. However, no other source of news and information had the ability to connect Maine readers with their own cities and towns, their neighborhoods, their streets. You can't possibly be there to see it all, but our client could. That is the unique selling point of the Herald and Telegram.

We let that positioning unfold in a series of television and radio spots that began with the question, "What did you see, today?" The newspapers placed its own media. The campaign is clearly an image building effort and the paper did not stop to take accurate measurements of change. Nevertheless, subsequent declines in circulation were remarkably less than the national average.

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