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Getting Traction on Readership: South Bend Tribune (IN)

South Bend Tribune (IN)
Daily Circulation: 72,186
Sunday Circulation: 101,204

List the major steps you have taken in the last four years to increase readership. Please organize your response under four headings: content, brand, service, culture.

Market/readership survey and analysis, focus groups, re-designed sections, more briefs, more local pictures, fewer jumps, increased zoning for local-local news.

New advertising campaign, convergence with TV station, promotion of local columnists, promotion of local reporters, promotion of local features, town hall meetings, special tabs for community events.

Route complaint analysis, pro-active customer contact, phone/service training, consultant delivery system analysis, earlier delivery time, in-house functional organization/phone directory.

Cross departmental product reviews, quarterly staff meetings, moved promotion department to center of building, collaborative front page design, joint circulation/promotion/news meetings, in-paper promotion same and future days.

What is the most innovative, successful or noteworthy thing you have done on readership that you think other papers might learn from or want to emulate?
Stressed local news and features identified as high interest by formal content survey. Changed newsroom approach to gage success by circulation numbers and survey readership findings.

What is the most persuasive indication you have that your readership efforts are producing results?
Circulation and readership numbers in some areas stable or increasing by actual count and scientific survey.

What is the most important lesson you have learned as you have worked on readership in the last few years?
There is not one approach that works for all portions of our circulation area.

What would you like to do on readership that you have not been able to do and why haven't you been able to do it?
Better timely in and out paper promotion of locally generated information. Lack of time, people to coordinate and budget to accomplish have limited our efforts.

Getting Traction on Readership


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