Be part of the newspaper insert renaissance

The numbers make preprints essential to a strong media campaign


By Chris Kazlauskas
Client Relations Consultant and Marketing Coordinator

When it comes to planning a media campaign, the idea that newspaper inserts are no longer effective and direct mail is king runs rampant through major ad agencies. But recent numbers are poking holes in that argument.

According to AudienceSCAN, 78% of all newspaper readers across the nation responded to a newspaper insert within the last year. When asked what weekly activity readers regularly do, 48% responded they go to the grocery store, almost twice as much as the second closest activity, stopping at the local convenience store1. In Pennsylvania, expect 68%1 of readers statewide to visit the grocery store this winter.

The most striking proof, though, is reporting on the ground. The feedback we received recently from Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association members has preprint advertising trending in a positive direction. Our members are touting their insert success stories, and the news is worth sharing. One advertiser leading the charge is the storied grocery chain powerhouse, Giant Eagle.
Based in suburban Pittsburgh, Giant Eagle owns and operates over 400 supermarkets in five states, with a heavy presence in Western Pennsylvania.

Our PNA team first learned of this optimistic turn of events during a visit to the Butler Eagle. According to Vice President of Advertising Keith Graham, the addition of Giant Eagle inserts was a very pleasant surprise. “Giant Eagle came to us ready to go with an annual commitment,” Graham said.

He attributes the insert decision to the value of the Butler Eagle’s paid readership within the market. “By reaching the Butler Eagle audience every week via Wednesday inserts, Giant Eagle’s market share in Butler and surrounding communities is bound to see a positive upswing,” he said. “Leaving inserts out of print buys and relying solely on direct mail misses an important segment of the population.”

Also reaping the benefits of the new print marketing campaign is the Bedford Gazette. “It makes sense,’’ Associate Publisher Sherri Growden said of Giant Eagle’s return to the Gazette. “A well-known, popular grocery store located in an area lacking other shopping options needs to be front and center in the community. The Bedford Gazette provides the right coverage to drive shoppers to the aisles.”
But the Gazette’s good news doesn’t end there.

Since January 2023, Bedford has seen a 15% increase in preprint spending, with major advertisers Save-A-Lot and Ollie’s joining Giant Eagle in the insert renaissance. “Persistence!” said Growden. “We know our readers, we know our community. We provide competitive rates to give the client an edge but to allow profitable margins for us. The key is to get to the right people in an organization. Make the proper contacts, be well prepared, deliver your best pitch and never give up!”

The time is now to rethink and revisit your preprint advertising strategies, especially with 2024 forecasting in full swing. Local and regional advertisers who pulled back, or in some instances may never have considered newspapers in the past, are now partnering with Pennsylvania newspapers to increase their audiences and stay top of mind with readers. Persistence pays off. Let that persistence repay you with new insert revenue.

1Source: 2023 Release 1 Nielsen Scarborough Report. Copyright 2023 Scarborough Research. All rights reserved.