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Newspaper advertising in major metropolitan areas may be out of reach of a congregation's budget, particularly because a congregation may need to run the ad several times to be effective. Community and alternative papers are lower cost options because they deliver to much smaller audiences. It is important to ask the newspapers for their circulation in the markets you are interested in. They can provide circulation figures by zip code.
Free papers often show very high circulation figures. However, because they are free, knowing the actual readership is difficult; many copies may be thrown away, unread, each week. These papers can provide a list of their free pick-up locations. Make sure that they are within an appropriate distance of your congregation.
When evaluating a newspaper or magazine, look at a few issues and consider the percentage of news stories versus advertising. If the paper is filled with advertising, your ad may not be noticed.
Some congregations have advertised successfully in local college newspapers. These papers normally have fewer pages and fewer advertisers. Larger university papers are read by professors, administrators and staff, as well as by graduate and undergraduate students. The audience can be older than one might imagine, and can be a good target for your congregation's marketing efforts.
Most newspapers provide color in ads but the premium is substantial. The Unitarian Universalist Association has:
- ads that were used in Time Magazine,
- ads used in regional marketing campaigns, and
- "Nurture Your Spirit. Help Heal Our World." graphic files
for you to use.