The death of newspapers has been greatly exaggerated. Well, for college newspapers, anyway. A recent study by marketing firm Alloy Media + Marketing found that 82 percent of college students had read their campus newspaper in the past three months--almost double the rate of most metro dailies, and often at a fraction of the cost.
Raju Rishi, 42, and Ghen Saito, 38, use college newspaper advertising as part of a two-pronged marketing approach for their New York City wireless communications company, Rave Wireless. The company, which provides mobile safety products such as wireless tracking to ensure students arrive safely at their intended destinations, purchases newspaper advertising to encourage students to use its service at participating campuses. Rishi says college newspaper advertising also allows them to "let students know this exists and that their school doesn't have it so they'll encourage the school to enroll."
College newspaper advertising can be a smart addition to a marketing plan, but it's not without challenges, says Ben Kunz, director of strategic planning at media buying firm Mediassociates. Placements can be hard to confirm because "you're maybe not dealing with the most professional organizations," he says. "We've seen media buys where there has been some slippage." In addition, he advises considering whether it makes sense for your brand to appear next to the sometimes provocative stories that frequently pepper college newspaper pages.
If none of that bothers you, services such as Alloy, Campus Party Inc. Campus Party Inc. and OnCampus Advertising can help you buy bigger swaths of college newspapers nationwide and ensure your insertions run. And when they do, "they're delivering to a very hard-to-reach demographic that is becoming immersed in blogging, iPods and Twitter," says Kunz, making college papers a smart way to reach an audience that's usually more interested in creating content than reading it.