By: Andreana Young

From: Editor and Publisher


The threat of ad blocking has many newspaper publishers shaking in their boots. But fear not, some of the industry’s latest advertising trends can not only improve a newspaper’s bottom line, but also engage audiences in a way they won’t want to block.

From more traditional offerings like preprint inserts to contemporary strategies such as virtual reality, advertisements need to be creative and compelling in their own right to keep even the most distracted reader’s attention. It isn’t enough anymore to simply put an ad in front of a reader, publishers need to pull in their audiences, and it all starts with making advertising worth their while.

Improve with Collaboration

In April, some of the biggest media companies in newspaper publishing (Gannett, Hearst, McClatchy and Tribune Publishing) created a joint content marketing solutions venture in order to cast a wider net in the market.

Called Nucleus Marketing Solutions, the newly formed network boasts it will have access to 70 percent of consumers in the top 30 U.S. advertising markets. Nucleus is headed by former Mashable chief revenue officer Seth Rogin, who says he joined because he’s compelled to support quality journalism, and he believes Nucleus is going to change the way news is purchased by marketers.

“The idea here is really to add economy to scale and serve brands in a way that makes sense as the market evolves,” Rogin said. “Nucleus will bring digital solutions (and it) will bring print solutions, but the idea is any time a big national brand or global brand wants to interact with this audience, at this scale, in this kind of environment of trust, we want to be the source for that.”

By opening up the market to advertisers, the potential to reach consumers is at an all time high. A solution like Nucleus can provide legacy newspapers with the energy and innovation of a startup and give them access to brands they may not have been able to reach before.

In addition, some of the top brands will now have easier access to publishers through data insights, aggregated scale and a sort of one-stop-shopping strategy. Rogin acknowledged that the process of ad buying has become more difficult for brands and CMOs to decide where they want to invest their dollars.

“This will hopefully simplify the process and give them the scale they’re looking for at the same time,” he said. “Every brand now wants data behind where decisions are made and data driven buying shouldn’t be something that publishers should be shying away from. It’s something we should run towards. News publishes have a great audience and a great environment of trust, and those two things together are rarer than we all think.”

Response from the marketplace has been overwhelmingly positive, said Rogin. Although he couldn’t comment yet on future partners or advertising strategies, Rogin is hopeful that the future of Nucleus will be exciting.

“What would make me happy is to truly have advanced the connections between some of the world’s biggest brands and some of the most important news environments,” Rogin said. “If we can look back a year from now or two years from now and know that we sort of cracked this case so that the most important journalism can be funded by the most prestigious brands, we’ve all won.”


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