Budget and Planning for Newspaper Advertisements

Estimated time: 70 minutes

Category: Print Media


Newspaper advertising has been around longer than most other forms of advertising we see today. Newspaper advertisements can help you bring in customers, spread your brand message and most importantly, build relationships with a large subset of the local population.

Newspaper advertisements are good way to reach a large number of people, especially those in the 45-plus age range. These guys tend to read the paper more frequently than younger demographic groups. These younger subsets such as millenials generally tend to get their news from mobile or digital sources. News papers also offer the benefit of targeting your ads to the appropriate markets by requesting that your ads run in the section(s) that tend to be read by your target audience e.g. putting an advertisement for a business conference in the finance section of the newspaper or printing an advertisement for a local pop-up shop in the lifestyle section

The thing is, newspapers allow you to reach a large number of people, sure. However, there is a catch. Unless you have deep pockets, you will have to think very carefully about how you are going to allocate the needed funds to get the maximum mileage. This module is designed to help you navigate the tricky planning and budgeting aspects of publishing newspaper advertisements.


Your business needs every opportunity you can get towards marketing your brand. In order to get more conversions through newspaper advertisements, you need to look at the nitty-gritties including resource planning and budget allocation. In order to select the right publication, you would need to know your target audiences as well as running rates for advertisements. In order to utilize your resources to the fullest, you will also need to select the proper placement and content – and then keep repeating the process to maintain visibility in front of newspaper readers.


By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Analyze the aspects of newspaper advertising that make it so effective
  • Understand the basics of effective budget planning effective budget of planned newspaper advertisement


  • Advantages of Newspaper advertising
  • Budgeting for effective newspaper ads

Detailed Learning


Understand the various aspects of creating an effective print advertisement.


There are a few unique advantages to advertising in newspapers:

  • Newspapers carry news. So, there is always a large demand and wide circulation because most people want to stay in the loop with current affairs.
  • Newspapers are read often so continuous publicity is possible with this advertising medium.
  • By proper selection of the right publication, you can ensure that a very specific group of targeted readers will be exposed to your content.
  • Specifically for the daily newspapers, since the printing frequency is high, you could essentially have a message out through advertisements within a day or two of conceiving it.
  • The confidence of the readers in their newspapers is generally extended to the advertisements in such papers.
  • Newspaper ads are suitable for both direct and indirect selling and selling.
  • It serves as a stepping stone towards further contact and eventual upselling e.g. distributing application forms, coupons folders, having them call you or visit your website.

Newspapers, both print and digital, offer key benefits to advertisers that are not delivered by other media options. They are powerful and present advertisers with the opportunity to deliver messages in a trusted, engaging environment. When trying to build a relationship with readers, newspaper can lend instant credibility to your brand because:

Readers trust the ads: A recent Nielsen study found that advertisements in newspapers continue to be among the most trusted forms of advertising. Simply put, newspapers provide an environment that offers clout. Both in print and digitally, newspapers are taken seriously – and so are the ads.

Readers want the ads: Newspapers are one of the few places where readers want and expect advertisements. They are part of the content. In many media, consumers go out of their way to avoid/skip ads because they don’t want them.


Having understood the advantages of newspaper advertisements, make a list of five types of business services or products that might benefit from newspaper advertisement. Then, take a newspaper and specify which section of newspaper advertisement they should use to reach the right type of audience.


  • Understand the basics of effective budget planning effective budget of planned newspaper advertisement


When it comes to pricing, daily papers can seem like an expensive choice but there is a way around this: annual contracts. These publications make one-time ad hoc publishing cost prohibitive. In fact, rates plunge dramatically even if you sign up for a small contract, so it just makes financial sense to sign up for a contract if you think you will be publishing ads on a continuous basis.

If you find dailies to be expensive, you budget your resources by only running your ads in the local sections that come along with the dailies. These are tabloid-like attachments that usually run just one day a week (generally, but not always) and carry hyperlocal news. Next, we will talk about sizing.

When you look at a newspaper, you’ll see it’s divided into columns. Your newspaper ads are sized according to a set formula: a certain number of columns wide and a certain number of inches long. Multiplying the two numbers together will give you the number of “column inches” of your ad, which determines the cost of the ad spot. The greater the size and visibility, the more it will cost you to advertise there.


Other than contracts and sizing, there are a few other ways in which you can effectively plan your budget for your newspaper ad campaign:

  • If possible, use the bottom section of your ad as a coupon to provide an added incentive for readers to visit your location. Be sure to put an end date on the coupon and use the coupon to track the response rate of your ads–you’ll know how good your ads are by the number of people using the coupon.
  • Add your URL to every print ad to drive people to your website where you can upsell them and even provide a digital coupon to print out when they visit your site.
  • Give your sales rep all the information he or she needs well ahead of deadline so you can get a proof sheet to check all the facts before your ad goes for printing. This will help you avoid unnecessary last minute revision costs.
  • When it comes to proofing, check your phone number, your URL, any percentages off, brand names, and every other detail to be sure that the reader has access to accurate information that can lead them back to you.
  • Be sure your print ad is well-aligned with any other advertising you may be doing for maximum impact.


Open your local newspaper. List down the three most effective newspaper ads that you have seen come across, what section they are in, what size and why you think they work.


You are the outreach manager for a non-government organisation. Your organization is running a road safety campaign targeting among commuters. Browse your local newspaper again. List down answers to the following:

Which section should you place your advertisement in?

Why do you think it would be effective?

How much space will you need?





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