In circ: Newspapers need integrated campaigns

Both the Boston Globe and the Minneapolis Star Tribune are launching self-promotion campaigns this week — a pushback to layoffs and the looming threat of closure that have threatened newspapers nationwide.

Although their goals may be the same, the two papers are taking very different approaches: The Globe is turning to the traditional media of TV and print ads. The ads, featured in the Globe, free daily Metro and on NESN (New England Sports Network, home of hometown heroes the Red Sox), focus largely on that which sets the paper apart from other media: the depth of its storytelling and its stunning photography.

The Star Tribune is going against the old media grain and turning to Facebook and the Web. Through these new media, the Minneapolis paper is taking suggestions for a sustainable business model and trying to stir up some grassroots affection — while accepting subscription orders, naturally.

Both approaches may work to boost brand names in a slump. But are they too little, too late?

By putting ads in its own publication, it seems like the Globe is preaching to the choir. Why not tell those online readers what they’re missing in print? On the other hand, I wonder if, by taking the digital route, the Star Tribune is neglecting existing print readers. In these days of integrated marketing, the papers should look to each others’ strategies for some additional ideas. Like any brand, they need to be where consumers want them, when consumers want them, and that means having print and Web working together.  

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