The Increasing Web Presence Of The Neighborhood News
Like so many industries during our nation’s ongoing economic downturn, the newspaper/magazine publishing business in this country is not in great shape.
Long-standing daily newspapers and many renowned magazines around the country have been going out of business at an alarming rate the last couple of years, as those that are still around try to find ways to give their readers the news they can and already do find 24/7 on the internet without cannibalizing themselves, because fewer and fewer businesses are buying daily newspaper advertising.
Can any print medium survive the onslaught of instant news and information available on the web? Well, publishing industry insiders believe that “niche” publications, like the New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News, are those that can survive and even thrive in the face of the ongoing problems in the publishing business.
Why? Well, in or case, this 18-years-young news magazine is still the only all-direct-mail print medium that actually covers the news of New Tampa, and whose editorial content isn’t entirely “advertorial” in nature. And, while both local dailies still offer sections that cover the news of New Tampa, those sections still also cover the news of areas (Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, etc.) that simply aren’t as important to the residents of the communities we serve.
But, with new publications still trying to break into this market all the time and the web becoming more and more important to most potential advertisers, the fact is that we know that we can ill afford to try to rest on our laurels as the only true news medium in New Tampa.
To that end, our marketing director Ashley Knoblach, who also owns her own web and social media business called A2 Marketing Group, has totally updated and revamped not only our website (making it much more userfriendly and interactive), but also our email blasts, Facebook updates and more. I know that no matter how much some people still love to read a newspaper or magazine by holding it in their hands, an ever-increasing number of people, especially those under age 40, get their news and information whenever they want it, from the web. That means, unless we want the tide to roll past us, we HAVE to properly integrate the world wide web into what we do.
Although some of the new features I plan to incorporate into our website haven’t yet been rolled out, in the future, you can look for convenient, easy-to-use on-line versions of our exclusive “Guide to Area Businesses” in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel and our equally exclusive “Dining Guide,” which will include not only restaurants located in our distribution areas, but also pics and reviews of my favorite out of-our-area eateries.
Senior news writer Sean Bowes and I also are working on rolling out a “New Tampa & Wesley Chapel News Item of the Day,” which can be anything from the latest road news to updates of stories that appeared in our most recent issue to Chamber of Commerce and charitable functions or even a preview of sports matches pitting Wharton vs. Freedom, etc. Once it does roll out, you’ll want to check the news item every day, so you’re not missing out on anything happening in our area.
My goal is to make our website the perfect companion to the printed version of this publication, not to replace it in any way. We already offer on-line archives of our recent issues and Sean has had some story updates and breaking news items that have appeared on our site before making it into print.
In our next issue, Ashley and I also will roll out our first-ever print and online combo promotion of a shopping center, which we will start with our own Shoppes of Amberly plaza.
In other words, instead of ignoring the web, we’re embracing it, with unique advertising and marketing opportunities we guarantee you won’t find anywhere else.
For information about on-line and print advertising, please call advertising customer service manager Nikki Bennett at 910-2575 or visit www.ntneighborhoodnews.com/advertising!