How would you distribute a free newspaper? How many copies for a test run?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Dynumo, Mar 7, 2013.

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  1. Dynumo

    Dynumo UKBF Regular Free Member

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    Hi,

    I've been toying with the idea of starting a free monthly paper, but not sure about the best way to distribute it or how many I should print as a test run.

    The issue of how many is how many would I be able to realistically distribute at a first attempt, and how many would I need to be distributing to get enough advertisers to cover the printing costs (and distribution costs)...

    The paper would be for a niche audience (start-up businesses and entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland). How much of a difference would that niche make to how I distribute the paper?

    Also, what is the best practice in pricing newspaper advertisements?

    Any advice/wisdom appreciated!

    Best Regards,

    Adam =)
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
    Posted: Mar 7, 2013 By: Dynumo Member since: Jan 18, 2009
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  2. ethical PR

    ethical PR UKBF Legend Free Member

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    If you've done your research and you know there is a gap in the market place for a publication for startups why not do an online version? In that way you don't have to factor in high distribution and print costs.

    Have a look at what other similar business publications are charging for advertising (remembering a lot will not pay book rate).
     
    Posted: Mar 8, 2013 By: ethical PR Member since: Apr 19, 2009
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  3. Dynumo

    Dynumo UKBF Regular Free Member

    119 14
    I would hope to use the paper to direct people to a website, which would contain both the same content as well as a jobs website, free guidance for starting a business and a crowd-investment and or funding platform.

    On another note, one of the reasons I want to start the paper is that I want to encourage people to think about starting businesses who aren't already thinking about doing so (Northern Ireland currently has a problem with this), and the promotion necessary isn't perhaps the most suitable to digital marketing methods such as search engine marketing (which requires people to already be searching for something for them to find it).

    I think it would be a lot easier to generate interest in this project through offline means (I'm saying this as a digital marketer lol).

    One idea for distribution would be to see if local train and bus stations would allow me to set up racks with the papers, and then draw people in by using a front page which appeals to the wider public (such as an article by a local bigwig politician or celebrity). Also being in a train/bus station, the people may be more likely to lift a copy while they're waiting for a train (or bus).

    I could also see if any local cafes who offer papers would be interested in stocking some (and it might reach more people already interested in small business this way too, if I put them in the right cafes in the right areas of the city).

    I was also considering trying to distribute them through local enterprise centres/business centres.

    Standing in the city center and handing them out is also an option, but a less desirable one :p...

    If I was to print a test run of 5000 copies though (20 pages at £1400 or 27p/copy, with 16 pages content, 4 pages ads), I'm not sure how many I'd be able to distribute through these channels, and whether I'd be able to tell advertisers that they would have a circulation of 5000 readers...

    Rounding cost up to £2000 to cover possible distribution costs, and selling perhaps 4 full page ads, I would need to charge £500 per full page ad (costing advertisers 10p per person...). Would advertisers be willing to pay that?

    I could also split the 4 pages into halves, and sell 8 half pages at £250, with a cost to the advertiser of 5p/person, but with a smaller ad...

    Then there's still the question of whether I could distribute the full 5000.

    lol, this is starting to turn into me thinking aloud... </postover> :p
     
    Posted: Mar 8, 2013 By: Dynumo Member since: Jan 18, 2009
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  4. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    Full page ads are not good, people flip past them they traditionally don't have a good return for advertisers. I have experience in this arena (as a publisher) and assure you that they would be better off buying 4 x quarter pages and place them bottom right on consecutive pages. You ideally want around a 60/40 split of content to adverts, as this will give a nice look and feel, and allow you to break up the content with relevant ads.

    Readership is normally 2.5 times the print run, so 5000 would give you a readership of 12500, but you must explain the logic behind that, e.g. people read them, put them down, others pick them up etc.

    Normally advertising is sold in SCCM (single column centimtres) and DO NOT sell halved sizes by halved cost that is a route to disaster financially. if you are looking for £500 a page, then half page should be £300-350, a quarter should be £200-250, and eighth £150-200.

    Distribution wise you need to find some place that will maximise penetration to your market, but minimise waste. Waste is the killer of free publications.
     
    Posted: Mar 8, 2013 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
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  5. ethical PR

    ethical PR UKBF Legend Free Member

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    You also need to allow for photography, design, editorial and advertising costs when looking at your production costs.
     
    Posted: Mar 8, 2013 By: ethical PR Member since: Apr 19, 2009
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  6. OldWelshGuy

    OldWelshGuy UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    Drifitng off a little also, but ensure that your advertisiers sign a disclaimer to indemnify you against any breaches in IP/copyright for any materials that they provide you with. We had endless issues with advertisers using brand logos when they were not licenced to do so.

    Have you sorted out your advertising contracts ?
     
    Posted: Mar 8, 2013 By: OldWelshGuy Member since: Jun 12, 2008
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