Circ-building the old fashioned way

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It seems that a lot of publishers are looking online or into crossover partnerships to boost circ these days. That's all well and good -- whatever works, you know? -- but sometimes it's nice to see a company go back to basics to promote itself. A good example: offering people fabulous cash prizes if they buy your paper.
Editor&Publisher reported today that the Chicago Sun-Times is going old-school with an insert promotion -- unseen in Chicago newspapers, says E&P, since the late 1990s. The promo, called "Scratch2Win," is placing lotto-style, scratch-off cards in the Wednesday edition of the paper. No avatars, no PURLS, no text message codes -- just a ticket and a dream.
It does get a little tricky when it comes to winning: not content with boosting Wednesday sales, the paper is making each ticket good for 8 possible wins -- one each day and two on Sunday. Readers have to check each day's paper (or the Web site) for winning numbers. Lucky readers are promised a pay-out of $100 to $25,000 cash, depending on just how lucky they are.
The promotion will be advertised with game-card handouts in downtown Chicago and ads on radio, TV and Chicago Public Transit.
There's a lot to be said for new-media-style promotions, but, sometimes, appealing to people's age-old desire for easy money can be effective no matter the channel.

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