Curious about the News Advertising Panorama and how to use it? We’ve answered some of your most-asked questions to help you understand this research tool and how to best utilize the information it provides, whether you’re a publisher or an advertiser. Have a question not answered here? You can view our webinar explaining the Panorama here, or reach out to Alliance Vice President of Research & Insights, Rebecca Frank, by emailing her.
What was the idea behind writing this book?
When I joined the team at the Alliance a year ago, I was tasked with diving deep into understanding the news media audience and gathering data to help change the narrative around the news audience among our industry, advertisers, and the general public. We wanted to gather facts from across the spectrum of consumer behavior, to help the industry reshape how it positions this vital audience.
How should publishers use the Panorama?
Publishers can use the Panorama in many ways, and with many groups. We anticipated when developing the book that it would be used by and with news publisher advertising directors, as well as advertiser marketing teams exploring channels through which to promote their brands.
News publisher staff can use it as a quick-reference refresher on the value proposition of advertising in print media, as well as to augment their pitches to advertisers. It is also very useful in providing precise figures on the relative impact of advertising particular products and services in news media and who that advertising will reach.
Publishers can either read through the Panorama and see the story it tells about the news media, or jump around to whatever information most serves their need at any given moment. Use the What is the News Advertising Panorama? overview on page 3, as well as the Table of Contents on page 5 to find what you’re looking for and dive right in.
The Panorama tells an important story about the value of the news media in reaching an audience, but for publishers, that story is already well-known. That’s why the Panorama is also very easy to flip through to find particular facts and figures – because we knew that not everyone would need to use the book in the same way.
How can publishers use the Panorama when talking to advertisers?
The great thing about the Panorama is that it explores the effectiveness of the news media when trying to reach a multitude of audiences. Whether your advertisers want to reach buyers and spenders, civically-engaged citizens or educated audiences, the news media can help them reach anyone.
The Reach section of the book explores all the types of audience members news media attracts, how they engage with the news media and the products advertised. Within the Reach section, you’ll find all the information you need to know about how the news media audience shops and spends, how they engage with their community, how they’ve educated themselves and how they work and earn money – everything your advertiser could want to know about how you can help them reach the ideal audience for their product.
Where does the information in the Panorama come from?
The stats in the Panorama come from a number of reputable sources, including comScore, Nielsen Scarborough, Kantar, Gallup, Pew and, of course, the Alliance’s own research. We scoured the available research for the highest-quality statistical information about advertising in news media to compile the most comprehensive look at how the industry best serves advertisers and the community.
What are some of the biggest takeaways from the research in the Panorama for newspapers?
The book highlights eight factors of news media’s “Unique Selling Proposition,” which include Trusted Local Journalism, Advertising Effectiveness and Reach, among others. On the trust item, research consistently shows that consumers trust print news nearly twice as much as they trust information found in social media. On the topic of advertising effectiveness, we saw that 46 percent of Americans surveyed said they prefer to receive coupons in their print newspaper. And, the newspaper audience in particular consistently engages with retail ads and makes purchases in several retail categories, more so than the average U.S. adult. We have a lot of data about audience reach in the book, but in particular we saw that, in many markets, print and online news media have better audience penetration than broadcast TV, cable TV or radio.
One surprising thing you learned while writing this book:
U.S. news readers span all age groups, defying the common misperception that the newspaper audience is only composed of older Americans. As news publishers embrace digital formats, we see that younger readers are very much a part of the news audience mix. And, the younger news audience has a higher income than the average American, which should be of interest to advertisers.
And, while it isn’t a surprise to those of us in the industry because it is an established trend, advertisers may be surprised to learn that U.S. news readers have a higher household income, education level and home value than the average American. The audience is also more engaged and influential on political issues than the average U.S. adult, and is particularly cause-driven – print and online news media consumers are nearly 25 percent more likely than the average U.S. adult to donate to charitable causes.
What should advertising professionals know about how to use the data in the Panorama if they are new to it?
There are a ton of data available on the news audience – sometimes it can feel like there’s too much to sift through. A good approach is to start with your end goal; that is, What story are you trying to tell a potential advertiser and why? Then ask how the data can help illustrate that story. There is little value in data just for the sake of data; it is there to help you accomplish a goal by making something abstract become more concrete.
Members of the News Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.