Promotional Spotlight Special Edition: Indiana Gazette

Promotional Spotlight Special Edition: Indiana Gazette

Indiana Gazette brings activities for all during quarantine

When Mark Buterbaugh took the position of advertising director at the Indiana Gazette in late November 2019, he had no idea how quickly his creativity and determination would be put to the test.  Buterbaugh, like many of his newspaper colleagues across the state, were challenged to find alternatives for content and revenue generation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine.  And the week of March 23 he sat down with the Gazette creative team to brainstorm and develop one such initiative – all-ages activity pages featuring buildings and places in the community.  “We turned it (the project) around in no time at all,” said Buterbaugh, “We had it moving within a week.”

Buterbaugh noted the activity pages project was geared toward the print publication, which aligned with the Gazette’s readers’ preferences and the project overall.  “Online and social media are not a large consideration for us,” said Buterbaugh, “Outside of town, very few people have internet – at least 50% of the county doesn’t.”

The activity pages were coloring pages for people of all ages and were created from photographs of local buildings and places.  And Buterbaugh spoke to the strength of his team, albeit a fraction of its pre-pandemic size, as they stepped up to work on the development of the pages using tools in the Adobe suite.  The activity pages ranged from landmark buildings in the area, to local businesses – who often requested that Gazette readers send their colored pages back to them so they could display them.  Sponsorships were offered for both the general pages as well as for the business specific pages, and while the revenue generated from the project was appreciated, Buterbaugh said it was a byproduct of the larger goal to strengthen and grow the Gazette’s relationship with the community it serves.  “We are the local newspaper,” said Buterbaugh, “We have been a fixture in the community for over 130 years.”

Buterbaugh said The Gazette readers responded positively to both the activity pages, as well as the publication, throughout the pandemic, and Buterbaugh and his team are working to use that as a catalyst for the evolution of the publication’s focus.  The Gazette has started featuring positive feedback in the masthead of the paper itself, and Buterbaugh hopes this will serve as a reminder and reassurance to the community that the publication is there to inform and support them.  Buterbaugh said that while the activity pages and similar hyperlocal initiatives might seem small in scale to other larger campaigns, they help serve a greater purpose for The Gazette. “We want to wrap around the community; support them,” said Buterbaugh, “And reaffirm the trust we have built.”

For additional information, contact Mark Buterbaugh at 724-549-9164 or