Read all about it: survey reveals newsagent billboards boost sales

Editors ignore newsagent billboards at their peril, if the results of a new survey are to be believed.

The
study, carried out in Newcastle, found that when newsbills were on
display, 87 per cent of people entering a newsagent did so to buy a
paper.

Without newsbills, the figure fell to 83 per cent.

Media
consultancy Press Ahead commissioned 293 exit interviews at newsagents
in Tyneside. Four newsbills were prominently displayed outside the
newsagents for half the interviews, for the rest researchers spoke to
shoppers on the same day in the week with no bills displayed.

Press
Ahead found that the billboards appeared to have most effect on younger
readers. Some 23 per cent of all those surveyed said they reacted to
newsbills -but the figure rose to 38 per cent for 16-24 year olds, 35
per cent in the 25-34 age group and 32 per cent among 35-44 year olds.

According
to the survey, local news stories are the most effective circulation
drivers – 56 per cent said these were most likely to influence them
when flagged up on billboards. This was followed by sport headlines (47
per cent),and national news (22 per cent). Only seven per cent said
competitions and promotions made the most effective news bills.

Press
Ahead managing director Russell Borthwick said: “The results certainly
were a wake-up call for publishers and retailers that do not consider
billing as an important element of their promotional mix.”

He
added: “Of course, there is much more to successful news billing than
simply ‘getting them out there’. Copy selection and variety is vital.

“Tell the prospective reader just enough, don’t give them the whole story. Choice of typeface and display can be important.

“There
should also be thoughtful targeting of bills to specific outlets. And
who is accountable for making sure they are actually put up? None of it
is rocket science, but issues which tend to get lost in the madding
crowd of daily tasks.”

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